WOODS, Leonard A.

Author Tags: Art

Sculptor, art historian, musician and composer Leonard A. Woods co-founded the Langley Community Music School after studying at the Winnipeg School of Art and being affiliated with the Vancouver School of Art in the 1950s and 1960s. Having served as the principle speaker for a celebration of Carle Hessay's art in Dawson Creek in 1984, Woods provided the text for Meditations on the Paintings of Carle Hessay (Trail: Trabarni Publications & Victoria: Treeline Press, 2005), a slender coffee table book, edited by publisher Maidie Hilmo, that records Hessay's considerable artistry.

Born as Hans Karl Hesse in Dresden, Germany on November 30, 1911, Carle Hessay was a Jack London-like character who died from a heart attack that occurred while dancing at a New Year's Eve party at the Sasquatch Inn in the Fraser Canyon town of Spuzzum on January 1, 1978. Along the way he fought in the Spanish Civil War and World War II, travelled the world as a seaman, became an accomplished gymnast and chess player, worked as sign painter in Langley, B.C. (after he first arrived there in 1950) and became a highly skilled painter of semi-abstract landscapes. According to Vancouver School of Art historian Leonard Woods, Hessay was an exceedingly vivacious character, always willing to entertain by performing hand-stands or diving feats. This gleeful nature and unconventional behaviour sometimes belied his sophistication as an artist and opera-lover. Hessay's rough exterior concealed his excellent knowledge of science, mythology, ancient philosophers and the Bible.

1-895666-27-9 $39.95 Order from Treeline Press, 3986 Cedar Hill Cross Road, Victoria, BC V8P 2N7.

[BCBW 2006] "Art"