Thanks to a fortunate coincidence, the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center of Worthington this month is holding an exhibit featuring rare artwork from Beatles legend John Lennon.

The exhibit showcases several printer's proofs that were compiled by Toronto printmaker Namik Kulenovic in the 1980s. They show various stages of Lennon's work, including some with notes from Lennon or his wife, Yoko Ono.

Until recently, the prints were gathering dust in Greg Brown's basement.

Brown, a Dublin resident, had inherited the works from his sister, Jaredene, when she died in 2012. She was Kulenovic's partner and had kept the prints for more than 30 years.

"I knew she had them, but it wasn't until a friend of mine saw them and he got really excited," Brown said.

The friend happened to be a mutual acquaintance of MAC executive director Jon Cook, and he quickly brought the work to the attention of the director.

"He immediately came over and said, 'What do you think of this stuff?' and I said it was super cool," Cook said.

For Brown, the idea of putting the work in the public eye was preferable to its resting place on his pool table.

As an art amateur, he didn't know what to do with the prints, though he assumed they were interesting because of Lennon's name. But when the opportunity presented itself, he said, he knew his sister would have appreciated it.

"It was a cool concept for me because I wanted to recognize my sister," Brown said. "They were really hers, so I'm kind of in the background here. My sister was very big into the arts, so I knew this would mean a lot to her."

Brown said he has 35 prints, and 15 will be on display. He's in no hurry to get rid of them, but some will be on sale, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.

For now, he is enjoying learning about the work that meant something to his late sister.

"When your sister is dying of lung cancer, you don't think to ask questions," he said. "I kind of wish I had asked her a little more and gotten more information about these."

When the exhibition ends, he said, he hopes he will have a new base of knowledge to go along with the remaining works, which he plans to put on display in his home.

Lennon's artwork will be on display through May 28 at the MAC, 777 Evening St. A free reception for the exhibition is scheduled 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 18.

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