With the arrival of spring here in Winnipeg I got to thinking about all of my favourite haunts. One of my favourite places to hang out and enjoy a nice sunny afternoon is Assiniboine Park. Within the sprawling acreage there are riding trails, formal gardens, duck ponds and the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden.
Located conveniently adjacent to the foot bridge spanning the Assiniboine River, the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden showcases the artistic mastery of one of Winnipeg’s own. Born Leonid Molodozhanyn in Ukraine January 15, 1915. He studied sculpture at the Leningrad Academy of Arts and was influenced by Arno Breker and undoubtedly war-torn Europe of the 1940’s. He immigrated to Canada after the war with his new bride Magareth and made Winnipeg his home until he died July 4, 2009. His credits include the Order of Canada, Order of Manitoba. He also held honorary doctorates from the Universities of Manitoba, Alberta, and Winnipeg.
Leo Mol’s work graces the Vatican, Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and many churches and cathedrals in Canada including St. Mary’s Catholic Church in my home town of Fort Frances. Working not only in bronze but also in stained glass and paint; his commissions came from around the world.
Walking through the sculpture garden on a warm sunny day, perhaps in the morning with the sun just peeking over the treetops and the birds waking from a cheerful slumber chirping softly one can feel at total peace. The smell of dew fills your head as you walk through the paths and ponds in this bronze wonderland.
Take a walk with me now as we walk the paths in the park enjoying a beautiful day with the bronzes of Leo Mol.
Entering the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden.