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Mississauga looking for Hazel McCallion inspired art for exhibit

The 96-year-old former Mississauga mayor has apparently been inspiring artistic pursuits for some time now.

The free exhibit featuring works based on Hazel McCallion runs from April 12-26 in the Great Hall of the Mississauga Civic Centre. People with art to submit can make an appointment with Mississauga museum staff by emailing Museums.Collections@mississauga.ca.

Metro Illustration

The free exhibit featuring works based on Hazel McCallion runs from April 12-26 in the Great Hall of the Mississauga Civic Centre. People with art to submit can make an appointment with Mississauga museum staff by emailing Museums.Collections@mississauga.ca.

She’s inspired paintings, crayon drawings, even a Mississauga version of the Mona Lisa.

Now former mayor — and role model to retirees everywhere — Hazel McCallion is getting her very own art exhibit to show off these tributes.

Stuart Keeler, curator and manager of museums for Mississauga, said the city is looking for submissions from the public and doesn’t think they will be hard to find.

“Sometimes monthly, we get phone calls of, ‘I have a painting of Hazel,’” he said. “This is a common occurrence.”

They’ve already received 25 works of art for the spring show, he said, and there’s no cap on how many they’ll take.

The art will be part of a larger exhibit with an “artifact collection” documenting the history of the city along with a new video on McCallion’s experiences as Mississauga’s longest-serving mayor. 

She served in the post from 1978 until 2014.

Keeler said there’s just something about the woman known as “Hurricane Hazel.”

“I think that people respond to her sprit, and her determinedness, her honesty and her integrity,” he said.

“She’s the people’s mayor.”

Contributed

"La Gioconda Mississauga" (2008) by Aleandro Russo is one of the artworks that will be on display at the upcoming art show.

The title of the show, “Do Your Homework: A Tribute to Hazel McCallion,” is an homage to the phrase she often used during her 36 years as mayor to let people know the importance of doing research and listening to others before forming an opinion.

Ron Duquette, a volunteer with the Hazel McCallion Foundation for the Arts, Culture and Heritage who’s known McCallion for about 45 years, will donate a bobble head of her to the exhibit.

“She’s been hugely popular for so long that it’s not surprising,” he said of the 96-year-old’s status as pop-art icon.

McCallion did not respond to requests for comment by deadline. But Keeler said she knows about the show and is excited.

“She smiled,” he said.