Greg Denton named City of Guelph 2015 Artist in Residence

Public invited to ‘Sit in Remembrance’ as part of a large-scale portrait project

Guelph, ON, June 9, 2015 – Guelph artist Greg Denton has been selected as this year’s City of Guelph Artist in Residence.

Piloted last year as the Artist in the Community program, this cultural initiative engages the community in creative experiences and embeds artistic activity in a variety of public spaces.

In a public call for entry, applicants were asked to draw inspiration from Lt.-Col. John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields, and the theme of remembrance in the preparation of proposals for the development of a community art project that would enhance the commemorative experience for residents and visitors exploring Guelph’s downtown core.

Following review of the submissions, the City’s Council-appointed Public Art Advisory Committee recommended awarding the project to Denton. His proposal, entitled, “100 Portraits/100 Poppies: Sitting in Remembrance,” seeks to engage Guelph’s veteran and military community in a creative experience that enhances the city’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the writing of McCrae’s poem.

“Greg’s proposal responded well to site considerations and the scope of the project, and it demonstrated capacity to creatively animate downtown public spaces and engage community members,” says Sally Wismer, chair of the City’s Public Art Advisory Committee. “We look forward to watching this project come together.”

Over the course of this summer’s residency Denton will create a suite of 100 portrait paintings in oil, depicting living military personnel, cadets, and veterans from the Guelph area, in uniform and wearing a poppy on their lapel. He may also include those without military backgrounds who have been affected by war and loss, or who have been inspired by the poem itself, by inviting them to sit for a portrait session. These 100 portraits will honour the presence and contribution of service men and women, past and present, and when assembled, will create a strong visual allusion to McCrae’s field of poppies.

The portrait sessions will require the participant to sit for a single one-hour session. To foster community interaction and engagement, the sessions will be held in fully-accessible public spaces/facilities within the downtown core including the City Hall Galleria and Market Square, Sleeman Centre in Old Quebec Street Mall, Guelph Civic Museum’s Glass Box Atrium and the Main Branch of Guelph Public Library.

Individuals interested in sitting for a performative portraiture session should email monsieurdenton@gmail.com.

More information about the City of Guelph Artist in Residence program and this year’s project is posted on the City’s website at guelph.ca/living/arts-and-culture/special-projects/airprogram2015.

About the Greg Denton

Guelph artist Greg Denton was born in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and a Master of Fine Art from the University of Guelph. Denton has taught in the University of Guelph’s School of Fine Art & Music for many years, along with the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, the University of Waterloo, and has been a visiting panelist at various venues including the Ontario College of Art & Design. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions across the country and his work has been collected nationally by private and public institutions including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Art Gallery of Guelph (formerly the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre).

For more information

Jen Rafter
Cultural Program and Event Coordinator
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2629
jen.rafter@guelph.ca