Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Artist Peter Etril Snyder is Retiring

When I lived in Ontario, Christine and I collected Peter Etril Snyder prints. We could afford the prints and we enjoyed the Old Order Mennonite farming scenes. They still hang in our home as framed prints and collector plates. Now 65 year old Snyder has announced his imminent retirement. While he can never stop painting, he is closing his gallery and will no longer offer reproductions of his paintings. His website will continue to offer the sale of his originals. He will also do commissioned pieces.

His website and recent interviews disclose that some health issues, his age and general lack of energy have made him conclude that this is the right time to relax. I am sorry for his health concerns but I understand that he is being wise. He wants to travel with his wife Marilyn and to enjoy these next years without endangering himself.

Snyder’s career spans forty years and he has enjoyed good success. His paintings are avidly collected by people, corporations and organizations worldwide, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization. One of his paintings, ‘The Homesteaders’, was officially presented to HRH Prince Phillip during a visit to Alberta in 1985. During his career he has also been recognized with an Honourary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) degree from Wilfred Laurier University and is a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International.

His is an interesting and singular story. He was born in 1944 to Mennonite parents. His father moved the family from the traditional farming community into town He held his first exhibition in 1963 at the Mall Gallery in Ottawa. Following his graduation from the Ontario College of Art in 1966 he toured Europe and returned there repeatedly through the years as well as trips to Central and South America and United States. In 1967 he exhibited in Buffalo, NY. 1969. Familiar with the old world values, in 1969 Snyder began to capture the charm and simplicity of Mennonite life on canvas. These subjects found a keen market in the Waterloo region and beyond. He held a one-man show of these Mennonite paintings in Kitchener in 1970. He was fortunate when in 1971 the Industrial Acceptance Corporation (now HSBC Bank Canada) purchased a large number of his paintings. During 1972-1974 he held numerous one man shows throughout Ontario.

1975 was the pivotal year that he opened his own gallery in Waterloo. To open and remain operative for 40 years is a rare accomplishment for active artists. Imagine painting, running and supervising a gallery and essentially working six days each week for most of these past four decades. His gallery will be open until December 31, 2009.

Original paintings and reproductions featuring rural life, Mennonite life, landscape and floral. Open Mon.-Sat., 9:30am-5:30pm.
Peter Etril Snyder Studio
59 Erb St. E., Waterloo, ON N2J 1L7
(519) 886-3230

Email: doug@snyder-gallery.com
Website: www.snyder-gallery.com
You may correspond with Pete at peter@snyder-gallery.com


  1. We have a set of framed collector numbered/signed plates by Peter Snyder. How would we estimate their sale value?

  2. Dear Anonymous, I hope you can return to this site for a look back and this info. Please use this email address to contact Pete personally for a heads up on how to determine the value of your plates. We have an entire set ourselves and have never thought to guestimate them either. peter@snyder-gallery.com


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