Uxbridge Artist Strikes Silver with Royal Canadian Mint – 2014


Shawn Cayley


Uxbridge Times Journal


July 2014

UXBRIDGE — Art has long been a part of Bert Liverance’s life.

As kid he always had crayons and clay to work with, among other things, while his adult life has seen Mr. Liverance go from painting planes as a member of the U.S. Air Force to having a number of his oil paintings featured in juried galleries across North America.

“I think at the peak I was doing like 30 art festivals a year,” the now 56-year-old Mr. Liverance recalls.

While the Goodwood resident works out of his home studio, his most recent work has worldwide reach.

Mr. Liverance was selected by the Royal Canadian Mint to design a set of collector coins to showcase Canada’s favourite flowers.

The first in the set of three titled ‘Tulip’ has already been released. The silver $5 coin features a niobium core, new technology that allows for selective colourization. Mr. Liverance’s tulip design is a vibrant peach colour and was chosen by the mint to launch the series and celebrate Ottawa’s claim as The Tulip Capital of North America. Only 6,000 of the coins will be sold worldwide.

Mr. Liverance says the experience of being involved with a mint production has been outstanding. From the initial e-mail asking if he wanted to take part in a contest to create the design, to finding out he won and ultimately seeing his design on a coin, it’s all left Mr. Liverance feeling pretty good about his craft.

“I was really stoked,” he said of being asked to participate in the coin’s creation. “It’s a real honour to be recognized by an organization like the Royal Canadian Mint. To have them approach me to even compete to start with was really cool. To win the competition and do the design — it’s the first of three I did for them — was something for an artist that was really cool.

“I hadn’t really even contemplated competing for something at this level, so it probably exceeds all expectations. To have gone through all of this … it’s mind-blowing, it really is,” he adds.

While the design used for the ‘Tulip’ is an original, the concept and inspiration for it came through a family member’s experience with cancer and a previous painting he had done.

“That particular one was inspired by a painting I did for my mother-in-law. She had breast cancer so I had done a painting for her as a radiation graduation present,” Mr. Liverance explains. “It was the tulips. That was kind of the inspiration for the thumbnail that I had. The mint had me do another one, but that was kind of the inspiration for that particular design.”

The two other coin designs by Mr. Liverance will be released by the mint later this year, he says, while keeping secret just what those two coins will feature. 

“I don’t think that’s something I can talk about yet,” he says with a laugh.

Having lived all around North American throughout his life, Mr. Liverance says he’s enjoying having settled in the Uxbridge area, adding he’s pleased to be part of such a great arts community.

Painting in oils for the last 20 years, Mr. Liverance, a member of the Botanical Artists of Canada, the American Society of Botanical Artists, the Oil Painters of America and the Group of Twelve, adds that what he loves most about it is the consistent opportunities to get better at what he does.

“It’s one of the things that I find keeps me energized,” he says of learning more about the art.

Reporter Shawn Cayley reports on all things Uxbridge for Metroland Media Group.


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