City selects Carolyn Meili as 2017 Artist in Residence

Guelph, Ont., May 3, 2017 – Guelph artist Carolyn Meili has been named this year’s City of Guelph Artist in Residence.

In its fourth year, the Artist in Residence program engages the community in creative experiences and embeds artistic activity in a variety of public spaces.

In a public call for entry earlier this year, artists were invited to submit proposals that considered Canada’s 150th birthday and the City’s 190th anniversary while encouraging reflection of Guelph’s collective history inclusive of all ages and backgrounds.

Following review of 14 submissions, the City’s Council-appointed Public Art Advisory Committee unanimously recommended awarding the residency to Meili. Her proposal seeks to challenge the traditional off-limits nature of art on display while exploring symbols of Guelph, and by extension Canada, and how they reflect and transform our sense of self.

“Carolyn’s proposal stood out as an innovative and imaginative approach to reflecting and challenging collectively-held beliefs about place, identity, symbolism and representation,” says Sally Wismer, chair of the City’s Public Art Advisory Committee. “Her proposal, backed by impressive qualifications and event management experience, suggest the delivery of a well-designed project that will broaden the community’s experience of the arts.”

Over the course of the residency, Meili will gather a visual language of symbols with the help of Guelph’s residents. The community will be invited to contribute ideas, drawings, stories and pictures through various activities, discussions, surveys and social media campaigns, which will inform the design and construction of Meili’s contemporary artwork.

The community will also be invited to contribute everyday objects and materials to be used in the creation of wearable sculptures. These will then be organized to represent the structure of a parade, with performative and interactive elements, which will be presented and displayed at City Hall over Culture Days weekend, September 29 to October 1.

More information about the City of Guelph Artist in Residence program and this year’s project is posted on the City’s website at

About Carolyn Meili

Carolyn Meili is an inter-disciplinary artist with a practice that includes drawing, sculpture, photography, performance, and site-specific installation. Her work uses familiar everyday materials and found objects to confront the boundary between daily life and art. With work that has been exhibited across Canada, Meili strives to create an emotional and thoughtful experience, inviting performative relationships between the art object and the viewer’s imagination. She has a bachelor of fine arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a master of fine arts from the University of Saskatchewan. She is also the founder of Guelph’s Capacity 3 Gallery and the director of the Guelph Film Festival.

About the City of Guelph Artist in Residence program

The City’s Artist in Residence program, guided by the Council-approved Public Art Advisory Committee, offers opportunities for artists to engage the public and showcase their creative practices while broadening the community’s experience of the arts. Animating public space—indoor, outdoor or online—is an integral part of the program and contributes to placemaking and civic pride.

For more information

Jen Rafter
Cultural Program and Event Coordinator
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2629