My father's work

 Church of Virgin Mary's Birth in Djurdjevo, Serbia

Church of Virgin Mary's Birth in Djurdjevo, Serbia

IMG_20170910_172516.jpg
 A permanent exhibit of my father's life and work is housed in this building

A permanent exhibit of my father's life and work is housed in this building

 Self portrait by Julian Kolesar

Self portrait by Julian Kolesar

priest.jpg
 Bust of my grandfather Dragen by Julian Kolesar

Bust of my grandfather Dragen by Julian Kolesar

 Traditional home with walnut tree in Djurdjevo, Serbia

Traditional home with walnut tree in Djurdjevo, Serbia

 The streets in Djurdjevo are lined with large shady walnut trees

The streets in Djurdjevo are lined with large shady walnut trees

 Traditional poppy cake

Traditional poppy cake

 Old Novi Sad, Serbia

Old Novi Sad, Serbia

I recently got in touch with my father's family in Serbia, who sent me photos of his paintings. Julian Kolesar 1927-1992 was born in Djurdjevo, Yugoslavia. He was a painter, sculptor, poet and ethnographer who painted icons and themes drawing from Vojvodinian Rusyn life with folky colors and emphasis on the decorative.

There's a permanent exhibit on his life and work in the museum of ethnography at the Greek Catholic parish in Djurdjevo, and his papers are held in the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa.

I remember as a child playing with sketching paper larger than myself in his home studio in Montreal that smelled of drying oil and gouache.

Most of these paintings are from private collections in Canada, the US and Serbia.