The work of a well-known Nova Scotia folk artist is getting a lot of attention in Ontario.

An art gallery in Toronto is advertising in Maritime newspapers, seeking original Maud Lewis work to purchase for an upcoming exhibit in its gallery.

“What is really interesting is, her work continues to speak to generations of individuals that never met her or knew her,” says Shaun Mayberry, the director of Mayberry Fine Art.

Mayberry has held two similar exhibits in Toronto over the last three years and both were big successes. Paintings Lewis once sold for $2.50 to $10 are now worth much more.

“Today, those paintings are worth thousands of dollars. In fact, we set a record at auction where we bought a painting last year for close to $24,000,” says Mayberry.  

Lewis’ popularity comes as no surprise to staff at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. They say the Maud Lewis exhibit is the most visited space in the gallery. 

“I think it’s her playful approach to the imagery that we see in her artwork and you know, it’s quite lively and wonderful and reflects upon the rural life here in Nova Scotia,” says David Diviney, curator of exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

Lewis lived in a tiny home once located in Marshalltown, Digby County. She wasn’t well off financially and suffered from arthritis.

“Despite the hardships of daily life, was able to look out of her window and at the world around her with a very positive outlook,” says Diviney.

Her artwork is expected to be on display in Toronto later this year.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Jacqueline Foster