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 wellbeing 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.
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 the newest piece, Remember Flanders by sculptor Ruth Abernethy, was accessioned into the collection in June of 2015.
Maintenance of public art is part of the City’s ongoing stewardship program.
- This year, key elements of the McCrae Memorial, along with a series of historic plaques, located at McCrae House, were restored to coincide with the McCrae commemoration celebrations. New flag poles were also installed at the Guelph War Memorial site in 2015.
- In 2013, restoration work was completed on the Guelph War Memorial and extensive masonry repairs helped to reinforce and preserve the McCrae House Memorial.
- 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.