July 4, 2024 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

In December 2023, the Philip Aziz Foundation of Art made a remarkable contribution to King’s, donating an extensive collection of works by renowned Canadian artist Philip Aziz. This collection included 80 paintings, numerous sketches, and sculptures, including a 24-carat gold leaf work titled “Tree of Lebanon,” mounted on a panel of Lebanese cedar.

Philip Aziz, a lifelong Londoner and internationally acclaimed artist, is celebrated for his works that reflect a deep interest in liturgical and devotional subjects, drawing inspiration from the rich traditions of Christian art and Orthodox icons. Recognizing the alignment of these themes with King’s values, the Board of the Philip Aziz Foundation of Art believed King’s to be the perfect home for these works.

To manage and catalogue the collection, the King’s Foundation hired Natalie Scola, a Ph.D. student from Western’s Art History program. The artwork was displayed in the Vitali Lounge and Extension during May, with the King’s community invited to provide suggestions on how best to utilize the collection.

Jim Panchaud, Director of Campus Ministry, says the acquisition of the artwork represents “a wonderful opportunity to enhance our campus spaces with pieces that invite reflection and engagement of the imagination.”

Several of the pieces have been hung on campus, including three paintings now displayed in the office of King’s President Dr. David Malloy, in Dante Lenardon Hall.

Another of the notable works, a portrait of Pope John Paul II, is being donated to John Paul II Catholic Secondary School. “We believed the school would be an excellent home for the piece, considering it features Pope John Paul II,” says Terra Ahrens '94, Executive Director of Foundation and Alumni and Development.

Several of the pieces may be available for purchase. Interested buyers are invited to contact Panchaud or Ahrens for more information.

Philip Aziz's works are held in public and private collections worldwide, including prestigious galleries, universities, and churches in Canada, the United States, Japan, Australia, France, Italy, and the Vatican. Aziz passed away on September 13, 2009, at the age of 89, after a decade-long battle with cancer.

King’s University College Foundation expresses profound gratitude to the Philip Aziz Foundation of Art for entrusting the University with this substantial and invaluable art collection.