Jenny’s call for memories

Hello, I am looking for your memories of Guelph!

For my Golden Guelph artist in residence project I am seeking images from Guelph that represent local history, and the stories that accompany them. This project is a visual and audio storytelling project that will include images of people, places, things, or events in Guelph, and the corresponding stories of their personal significance. Twenty of the submissions will be selected to have their stories recorded, and I’ll base drawings and silkscreens on these selected submissions – the rest of the contributions will be made available for viewing in an online gallery. I’m looking for images of places both familiar and unfamiliar, stories that haven’t been heard, histories that we can’t find through research or online. The stories do not need to be about well-known people or places – if you do have a story about a ‘significant’ or ‘famous’ person, place, or event, I want to hear the lesser-known sides of the story. This project will piece together and capture the histories that have flown under the radar.

Some things to consider when sending your story

  • Please tell your story: carrying on a family story is okay too, but I want to hear something that has a personal connection to you. You do not need to be an amazing storyteller, as long as you’re telling a story that’s personal to you. Guelph has lots of super interesting stories that have happened to other people, so if you know of an AMAZING story that involves someone else, please spread the word and encourage that person to submit their story!
  • If you’re not sure that your story is true: I want to avoid spreading rumours or mistruths, I want people to do their best to share real histories.  However, it is okay for you to indicate where you’ve heard details, and can’t verify them.  Just be sure to indicate that it is the story as you’re familiar with it, and not a fact.
  • I am looking for stories about Guelph, told by people who currently live here, but they do not need to be “old” stories: You do not need to be a “life-long” resident of Guelph – people of any age can submit, and you can have lived in Guelph for any length of time. Your “history” does not have to be from any specific era. I would like a variety. If you are no longer a resident of Guelph, you can still submit, but you will not be eligible for one of the twenty spots for the silkscreening portion of the project. Please indicate if you are no longer a resident of Guelph – I’m still happy to share your history in the gallery!
  • I need a high-resolution image to draw from: If you have a physical photo, and trust me with it, I can scan it at a high-resolution to draw from.  If you’d rather have a friend or family member scan it, please ask them to scan it at a high-resolution – ideally 1200DPI but at least 300DPI. Your submission can contain a lower resolution version for me to review, but I will need to know that there is a physical copy or a higher quality version available. If the only image available is low-resolution, you can submit it for sharing in the gallery, but it likely won’t be eligible for the silkscreening portion of this project.

If you can’t find/don’t own a photo of what you want to talk about

There are a few potential options:

  • Your friends or family: reach out and see if anyone you know has a photo, or is able to help you find one. The Facebook group If You Grew Up in Guelph, Do You Remember… has hundreds of members, and may be a great place to ask about what you’re searching for.
  • A photo of that place now: if something significant to you used to be somewhere, and has since been removed, you can go take a photo of that spot now.  Even if there is next to no evidence of what used to be there, or something else stands in its place, you sharing that piece of history will give it meaning.
  • Guelph Museums: Guelph Museums has an incredible archive of thousands of photographs, and has agreed to help with this project.  If you are looking for a particular image, consider searching their archive! This link gives detailed instructions on searching the museum’s archive. If you find a photo on their site of something you wanted to share a story about, the museum is happy to provide us a copy for the project.  Please note: the image you’ll see on their site will be a very small file – you can right click and save it and submit it for the purposes of the project, but please indicate that you got it from the Museum’s website so that I know they have a higher resolution photo available, and please make note of the catalogue number when you find the image you want from the museum’s archive – we will use this catalogue number to get the high-resolution file. You do not need to request a high-resolution file from the museum – if your submission is chosen, I will request the high-resolution file from the museum.
  • If you find a photo online, somewhere other than the Museum’s website: This is the least ideal option, but may still work – I will need to check out the source before I will know if it is high enough resolution to draw from, and verify copyright. So please include a link to where you found the photo.  It is very likely the image will be too small to draw from, but it may still be eligible for us to show in our gallery.

How to submit

The City of Guelph has made a super convenient online portal for submission!  This is my preferred way to receive submissions. The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2020.

If submitting online is a barrier to you

If need be, you can submit a photo and hand-written or printed submission. You can mail or deliver them to “Golden Guelph”, 25 Grove St. Guelph ON N1E 2W6. Please note that I will do my best to keep your photograph safe, but can’t guarantee it with this form of submission. If you want to submit a physical package, consider submitting a copy of your photo, rather than the original, and indicate that the original is available to draw from. You can also email me at [email protected] if you need to ask any other questions or need further help.

If you aren’t chosen for the silkscreening portion of the project

We will still have a gallery of all submissions, so people can see all of the images and read about their significance.  I will choose twenty submissions to draw, silkscreen and record the story of, but would still love to receive as many submissions as possible for the gallery because I want to share as much history as possible!

Please spread the word

We are hoping for as many different stories as possible, so please share this around and use the hashtag #GoldenGuelph!