2015 Artist in Residence – Greg Denton

2015 Artist in Residence – Greg Denton

About 100 Portraits/100 Poppies: Sitting in Remembrance

In a public call for entry, applicants were asked to draw inspiration from Lt.-Col. John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields, and the theme of remembrance in the preparation of proposals for the development of a community art project that would enhance the commemorative experience for residents and visitors exploring Guelph’s downtown core.

Following review of the submissions, the City’s Council-appointed Public Art Advisory Committee recommended awarding the project to Greg Denton. His proposal, entitled, “100 Portraits/100 Poppies: Sitting in Remembrance,” sought to engage Guelph’s veteran and military community in a creative experience that would enhance the city’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the writing of McCrae’s poem.

Over the course of the summer residency Denton created 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 has also included those without military backgrounds who have been affected by war and loss, or who have been inspired by the poem itself. These 100 portraits honour the presence and contribution of service men and women, past and present, and when assembled, create a strong visual allusion to McCrae’s field of poppies.

100 portrait paintings

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).

Greg Denton

Photo by Randy Sutherland