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Outsider artist Mendelson Joe is a painter, activist, musician, and renowned “self-taughter.” But to the people living in the sparsely populated region west of Algonquin Park, he is also a neighbour. With his latest book, Joe commemorates his neighbours in a series of portraits whose subjects range from Canadian musical icon Hawksley Workman to the man who installed Joe’s woodstove.

In Joe’s Neighbours, we get a glimpse into the lives of people who have strayed from the urban grid, and in Joe, we meet a “pathological painter” who is engaged with his community. Viewed through Joe’s idiosyncratic lens, rural Canadian life comes alive, and we meet a hub of artists, activists, and offbeat characters who truly embody Joe’s vision of neighbourliness.

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