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Dear Léo

October 14, 2021 - October 17, 2023

Dear Léo

Temporary exhibition - From October 28, 2021 to Fall 2023

A legendary figure in Gaspesian folk art, Léonard Lapierre – Léo to his friends – (1928-2014), was born in Gaspé. Inspired by his immediate environment, he carved his first wooden object at the age of 16. This was followed by hundreds of creations incorporating not only driftwood but also a host of other materials and objects recovered from the sea, including tin cans, keys, buttons, etc. Exploring various mediums, his creations include ronde-bosse (three-dimensional) sculpture and assembled driftwood, works in recycled metal, glass mosaic and papier-mâché, as well as musical instruments that he used to play a traditional repertoire in his own, unique way.

An outstanding artist

A well-known, but also very modest figure, Léo Lapierre featured in reports broadcast on national television and was invited to several schools in the region in the 1970s and 1980s to present his work. Children were particularly enchanted by his instruments, which he could play simultaneously with impressive agility while performing a traditional repertoire in a singular way. The Museum’s director, Martin Roussy, was one of the young spectators who met him at Saint-Rosaire Elementary School in Gaspé in the 1970s. “He was a larger-than-life character. His instruments touched my imagination,” he recalls. “He fascinated children and the general public. His way of teaching us was unique; a simple and playful approach.”

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