Public Art

The City of Guelph recognizes that art in public places is a valuable asset that enhances the quality of life for its residents, strengthens community pride and improves the aesthetic of the public environment. It contributes to our community’s cultural aspirations, social well being and economic vitality. Through public art we celebrate our culture and heritage, reflect our diversity, express shared values and define our unique identity.

Public Art is defined as artworks that are created by artists and acquired by the City with the specific intention of being sited on or staged in municipally owned public space.

Current projects

Guelph has commissioned Ted Fullerton, a celebrated Canadian artist, to create four sculptures for the open space bordered by Wilson, Carden, and Farquhar streets.

Fullerton’s art will create unity between City Hall, Market Square, Guelph Central Station and the Guelph Farmer’s Market building. The four sculptures—Birds of a Feather, A Bird in Hand, Bird/Watching, and Perch—will establish a sightline for individuals to engage with the installation as they move along Carden Street.

In 2013, the City invited experienced, individual artists, or teams, to apply for the opportunity to create public artwork for the Civic Precinct. A citizen-appointed Public Art Selection Panel reviewed 16 applications and short-listed three artists, including Fullerton, who were asked to submit formal proposals.

The total budget for the art project is $150,000, approved by City Council through the 2013 capital budget process. This is the first piece to be commissioned through the City’s new Public Art Policy, and is being coordinated by the Public Art Committee, a subcommittee of the Council-appointed Cultural Advisory Committee. Installation is scheduled to be completed by July 2014.

About Ted Fullerton

Ted Fullerton is an acclaimed artist who works in contemporary painting, printmaking and sculpture. He has achieved numerous awards such as the Juror’s Award in the CIM Centennial Art Competition and the Boston Printmaker’s Juried Exhibition award. He has exhibited his work across Canada, England, Australia, Spain, and Yugoslavia. Locally, Fullerton’s work can be seen at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre Sculpture Park in Guelph, and at the Benton and Charles Street municipal parking garage in Kitchener. Fullerton lives in Tottenham, Ont., and is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art. To view his work, visit

About the Public Art Selection Panel

Panel members included Janet Rosenberg, founding partner of Janet Rosenberg & Studio Inc. (designer of Market Square); John Kissick, professor and director of the School of Fine Arts and Music, University of Guelph; and Shawn Van Sluys, executive director of the Musagetes Foundation.

Public Art Selection Panel Members

The City of Guelph Public Art Committee is accepting applications for the Public Art Selection Panel Roster, on an on-going basis.

The Public Art Selection Panel Roster serves as a list of qualified artists and other community representatives (including architects, landscape architects, and educators or administrators in the arts or heritage fields) eligible to serve on Public Art Selection Panels.

As identified in the Public Art Policy, the purpose of Public Art Selection Panels is to ensure that the selection of artworks commissioned through the City of Guelph’s Public Art Program is a fair and transparent process that is guided by impartial arts professionals and community members who are qualified to recommend works of art and/or artists.

For each Public Art project, the Public Art Committee will establish a selection panel that will include members from the roster who have knowledge that is pertinent and specific to the project criteria. Panel members will be selected based on their ability to provide a critical analysis of artist qualifications, as well as assessment of the suitability of the proposal under review.

Please contact or 519-822-1260 extension 2589 for more information.


Located throughout Guelph are more than a dozen City-owned pieces of outdoor and indoor public art and historical monuments. Situated in City parks, streets, squares, and on the grounds of municipal buildings, these works enrich the urban landscape with both an artistic and historic layer.

The ever-growing City of Guelph collection is diverse in medium and form. The earliest piece in the collection, The Blacksmith Fountain, dates back to 1885 and new pieces will be added to the collection throughout the coming years.

For a complete list of the artworks in the City’s Public Art Collection, please visit


Over the spring and summer of 2012, two of Guelph’s most recognized public art works were restored, the Family Fountain and the Blacksmith Fountain. In 2013, restoration work was also completed on the Guelph War Memorial and the McCrae Memorial.

Blacksmith Fountain: before (left), after (right)

Family Fountain: before (left), after (right)

Public Art Policy

Last Updated: January 15, 2015. Broken links or incorrect information? Let us know!