Lisa Hirmer is City’s 2016 Artist in Residence

Guelph, Ont., June 21, 2016 – Guelph artist Lisa Hirmer has been named this year’s City of Guelph Artist in Residence.

Introduced in 2014, 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 earlier this spring, artists were invited to submit proposals that considered the role of art in urban placemaking through a lens of curiosity, playfulness and originality. Placemaking is an urban design process that helps cities to achieve public spaces that are engaging, practical, and well designed.

Following review of 12 submissions, the City’s Council-appointed Public Art Advisory Committee unanimously recommended awarding the residency to Hirmer. Her proposal, entitled, ‘Weather Watcher,’ seeks to capture artistic, poetic, and systematic recordings of the weather.

Using the vehicle of everyday banal conversations about the weather, Hirmer aims to engage the public in gaining deeper insight into our understanding and beliefs about the impact that weather and its changing patterns have on the lives of those who live, work and play in our city.

“Lisa’s proposal clearly stood out as an innovative approach to exploring and challenging collectively-held beliefs about our urban environment, particularly its weather,” says Sally Wismer, chair of the City’s Public Art Advisory Committee. “Her proposal, backed by impressive qualifications, awards and previous residency experience, suggests the delivery of a well-designed project with lasting impact.”

Over the course of the summer, Hirmer will design, construct, and install a weather registering structure in a downtown location. She will also create a mobile unit that will accompany her as she moves around the downtown for various Civic celebrations, events and engagement opportunities this summer. While engaging with the public, Hirmer will create artistic works that record and document the changing weather in the moment, and the public’s interaction with it.

For the duration of the project, Hirmer’s artistic work will be shaped into a public exhibition at City Hall.  The City will also host a free public talk with the artist as part of annual Culture Days celebrations running September 30 to October 2.

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/airguelph.

About the City of Guelph Artist in Residence program

An initiative of the City’s department of Culture, Tourism and Community Investment, this program embeds artists in a variety of public spaces. Aligned with the City’s strategic City Building objective to strengthen citizen and stakeholder engagement, the annual program invites artists to engage the public in creative experiences that contribute to the vitality of the community.

About artist Lisa Hirmer

Hirmer is a Guelph-based inter-disciplinary artist whose work combines visual art, design, social practice, performance, and art-based forms of critical research. She is the director of DodoLab, an experimental project-based practice focused on exploring and responding to the complicated reality of public opinion. Holding a master’s degree from The School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo, her work has been shown across North America, Europe, Australia and the UK. Locally, Lisa has created projects with The Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation at the University of Guelph, the Musagetes Foundation, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery.

For more information

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