go back
next page

Sam Hester - the big brothers of Rock Central - BeatRoute, June 2005 - Kren Gunn


In most cases friends come and go, those from elementary school and little league are usually forgotten by the skirt chasing of adolescence. However, every once in a while these elementary friendships grow to becoming anything but elementary and blossom into long lasting friendships proven to withstand the tests of time.

Calgary artist Sam Hester has taken notice of one such group through her younger brother and last month's BeatRoute cover boy, Matt Masters. His closely knit group of very intricate friends that have inhabited the Rock Central household, a piece of property that has become somewhat of a landmark in the Stampede Park area, have played a very prominent role in her life throughout her formative years. Hester has had the opportunity to witness the dynamics and roles of these friends evolve, while she herself gained a multitude of surrogate brothers. With a degree in English literature from the University of Toronto and having attended the Ontario College of Art and Design, Hester has created a compilation of

paintings to commemorate the story of her brothers, a collection of 18 portraits that will be known as the Rock Central Family Band.

"It's been an idea I've had for a really long time," Hester explains. "My brother Matt is friends with all of those guys, and somehow because of him I became friends with all of his friends. So I've been around the crowd of all these brothers all the time, just watching them on the edge of their group, and it's been so fascinating to me to see how they have all evolved."

Throughout the last ten years this particular group of frends/brothers have evolved, creating somewhat of a name for themselves in the Calgary fim and music scene. Existing in this group are Calgary heavyweights The Dudes, Matt Masters and some favourite cast members from the film FUBAR. Hester wants to be clear that she is not immortalizing the talents of this group of brothers.

"A lot of people know they're musicians and they know about them, or they like them because they are in bands. Although I like their music, I am more interested in their group as a group of brothers. How they are progressing and what they are doing and everything. So this is kind of a record of where they're at right now," Hester explains.

As for Hester's plans with her finished product, she says that while she knows it may not be an entirely accessible endeavour, she still put a lot of thought into what she was going to do with them.

"I don't think this is a very lucrative project. Like I don't think a lot of people will want to buy a painting of Randy Willis, but you never know, maybe it will be this hot commodity. One idea I had was just to give the paintings to the guys. But one other idea I had was to tour the show of paintings together. It's nice to be able to show it in a few places, and since I often paint commissions, I have nothing left over once I sell those works that I've done. Now I'm going to have all of these paintings so there's some places I thought about showing them. ... I'm going to have a poster at the show [featuring each] painting on the poster and... people can have a souvenir from the show. It would be nice to give these guys their paintings. It's all just for them, I'm just saying to them, "good work you guys!"

Sam Hester's collection of brothers will be open from June 16th to the 29th at Artpoint Gallery and Studios in Ramsay. The exhibit will feature live performances from some of the brothers including Matt Masters, Mastersparacino and The Dudes. Opening night will also feature a sneak peek of Breakfast at Rock Central, a film by Toronto filmmaker Lock Fulton.

go back
next page