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RCMP paintings return home after 25 years; now on display in Chilliwack

Maxwell Newhouse’s 38 pieces, painted for RCMP’s 125th anniversary, now mark 150th milestone
Artist Maxwell Newhouse has his work on display at Flashback Brewing in honour of the RCMP for the month of November. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

It was pure coincidence that a series of RCMP paintings arrived at Maxwell Newhouse’s home on the 150th anniversary year of the Canadian police service.

It was back in 1998 when the Harrison artist painted the 38 Musical Ride pieces marking the RCMP’s then-125th anniversary. He sent them off to Ontario where they were on display in three different galleries celebrating the milestone year.

He never insisted on getting them back because he didn’t know what to do with them. Then he forgot all about them. It wasn’t until a few months ago that he was reconnected with them.

“I forgot about it, I really did,” Newhouse said. “They phoned me first to let me know, and then a big truckload of paintings came about two months ago and I thought ‘I gotta celebrate.’”

He said he was very excited and thrilled to see them again. For 25 years, the paintings sat in storage at Turner Gallery in Bayfield, Ont.

“The man who saved, preserved, stored and shipped this set of paintings is a very important movie producer named Brad Turner. I am indebted to him.”

Turner was retiring and closing up the gallery, so he had to get rid of a number of paintings in storage. Newhouse’s work never sold because he and Turner didn’t want to break up the series and nobody bought them as a set.

“But maybe now is the time,” Newhouse said.

Artist Maxwell Newhouse has his work on display at Flashback Brewing in honour of the RCMP for the month of November. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

The 38 paintings are currently hung at Flashback Brewing in downtown Chilliwack. When he installed them on Nov. 3, it was the first time he’d ever seen them on display because when he painted them, he shipped them off right away.

When they were returned to him in the summer, one of the paintings was missing so he repainted it during B.C.’s wildfires. Its frame is the only one that looks different from the others.

“It’s framed in black… because B.C. was on fire.”

The set comprises four panorama pieces, each featuring eight multicultural RCMP on horseback, plus the black-framed horizontal painting of the officer in charge at the front. Above and below those five paintings are 33 vertical pieces – one of each rider in the troop.

“It’s meant to be a noble tribute.”

He’s now selling the vertical paintings for $200 each. He prefers not to break up the five horizontal paintings.

“Because of the way the paintings (are hung) it’s like the vertebrae of Canada is the RCMP. They always say the heart, but I think the very backbone of Canada is the RCMP.”

The paintings will be on display for the month of November, and he’s inviting people to come and have a look and celebrate the RCMP’s 150th anniversary.

“They can come here and toast the Mounties… just have a beer, kick back and toast because they give a lot to the country.”

For more, contact Maxwell Newhouse at 604-819-3412 or Flashback Brewing is located at 1-9360 Mill St.

RELATED: PHOTOS: RCMP Musical Ride performs for 2 sold-out crowds in Chilliwack

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Jenna Hauck

About the Author: Jenna Hauck

I started my career at The Chilliwack Progress in 2000 as a photojournalist.
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