Special Projects

Terrain of Sensation

Terrain of Sensation, 2014 City of Guelph Artist in the Community Project – Pearl Van Geest, West End Community Centre

To support cultural sector growth in Guelph, the City invests in capacity building opportunities and special programs. These projects are short-term in nature and help to increase the visibility and viability of Guelph’s arts and culture community.

City of Guelph Artist in Residence Program

The City of Guelph Artist in Residence program is an initiative of the City’s department of Culture, Tourism and Community Investments, and is guided by the Council-appointed Public Art Advisory Committee. The goal of the program is to broaden the community experience of the arts through creative activity in public spaces and to enhance community wellbeing through access to and participation in cultural programming.

2015 Program Information

Guelph artist Greg Denton has been selected as this year’s City of Guelph Artist in Residence.

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.

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.


2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the writing of Lt. Col. John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields. This milestone will be celebrated community wide throughout the year with a series of signature initiatives and events. As part of the commemoration, a bronze statue of John McCrae by Canadian sculptor Ruth Abernethy will be installed in front of Guelph Civic Museum overlooking Guelph’s historic downtown.

Scope of work

Drawing inspiration from McCrae’s poem and/or the theme of remembrance, the Artist in Residence will develop a community art project that will enhance the 100th anniversary commemorative experience in Guelph’s downtown core for residents and visitors. This project is open to all art forms including visual, literary or performing arts, architecture, and sound or media arts such as film or photography. Working with City staff, the selected artist will establish a plan that includes a schedule and site considerations for interaction with community during the residency period. The residency is expected to result in a tangible outcome such as a temporary installation, creative collaboration, exhibition, event or community experience that will be shared and celebrated with the public at the end of the residency period.

Site considerations

A thriving downtown is important to the success and sustainability of a city. This program offers the opportunity to creatively animate Guelph’s downtown public spaces while encouraging the community to experience its sights, sounds, character and history. The Downtown Guelph community is inclusive of workers, merchants, residents, facilities, organizations, visitors and shoppers.

About the artist

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).

Last Updated: June 30, 2015. Broken links or incorrect information? Let us know!