PRESS RELEASE February 27, 2017
SIX ARTISTS SELECTED FOR COMMISSIONS FOR
The Prime Ministers Educational Resource and Statue Project dedicated more than a year and a half to researching and exploring the works of Canadian sculptors adept in presenting exceptional human likenesses cast in bronze. In September, 2016, the coordinating committee selected and contacted twenty-five of these artists across the country. Each sculptor was invited to submit a proposal depicting a Canadian Prime Minister. All submissions were considered for inclusion in the ongoing project being developed in Baden, Ontario. The quality of the work received was admirable. After intense review, the committee selected six artists to complete the Prime Ministers’ commissions. The Statue Project is pleased to announce that the following artists will create all works in the collection of twenty-three life-size bronze works of Canada’s Prime Ministers to date:
– Ruth Abernethy (Ontario);
– Darren Byers and Fred Harrison (New Brunswick);
– Alan Henderson (Alberta);
– Morgan Macdonald (Newfoundland);
– Nathan Scott (British Columbia)
Their works will join a Sir John A Macdonald sculpture, “A Canadian Conversation” by Ruth Abernethy, unveiled in June, 2016. All completed sculptures will be installed on The Prime Ministers Walk on the municipal grounds at Castle Kilbride, a National Historic Site in Waterloo Region.
Two new works will be unveiled by Canada Day, 2017.
A third sculpture will be installed in November, 2017.
The three Prime Ministers selected for these commissions will be announced in mid-June, 2017.
The collection of sculptures of Canada’s Prime Ministers will continue to grow as funds are available. Donations to the project can be made at www.creativeenterprise.ca.>createscape.
For more information contact:
Jim Rodger, Co-Coordinator
The Prime Ministers Statue and Educational Resource Project
Phone: (H) 519-696-3070 (C) 519-503-3073 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Biographies of the participating artists are attached below.
Ruth was born in Lindsay Ontario, into an artful, inventive and musical family. Hired for professional theatre at age 17, Ruth has subsequently worked in the props and design departments at most of Canada’s regional theatres. She has also been on contract at the Stratford Festival and the National Ballet of Canada executing and managing work for renowned international designers. Ruth designed an off-the-grid home and launched her solo art practice in Wellesley, Ontario. Her refined method of mapping and carving figures led to the commissioning of ‘Glenn’ (Gould) at CBC, Toronto in 1999.It was the first of numerous distinctive public portraits including Mackenzie King, John Hirsch and Arnold Palmer. A bronze portrait of Al Waxman was acquired for the National Portrait Collection, 2003 and her figure portrait of Oscar Peterson was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth ll in 2010 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Ruth’s sculptures have been placed municipally, regionally and nationally and she has been awarded numerous private commissions. Ruth encompasses studied regard for playful thought and timeless paradoxes in the creation of her work. “A Canadian Conversation”, depicting Sir John A Macdonald is the inaugural work of The Prime Ministers Educational Resource and Statue Project and has been installed at the project’s permanent home on the grounds of Castle Kilbride in Baden, Ontario. For more information: www.ruthabernethy.com
Darren Byers And Fred Harrison
New Brunswick artist Darren Byers has been building furniture and working with wood for over twenty years. In addition, for the past twelve years, he has been sculpting and woodcarving. Darren’s sculptures are located in the United States, Canada and Europe. Fred Harrison has been a successful mural artist for twenty years, mainly painting in the London, Ontario area for private homes and businesses. His last major project was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, restoring the Roxy, a 1930 atmospheric theater, where he was responsible for the décor and added two small murals to the lobby area. For the past six years Fred Harrison & Darren Byers have been working together to create large scale bronze sculptures in a studio near Sussex, New Brunswick. An outstanding example of their combined talents is a bronze likeness of Canadian literary critic and theorist Northrop Frye. A version of this work has been installed in Moncton and another at Victoria College at the University of Toronto.
Alan Henderson is a Canadian artist whose sculptures range from handheld pieces to large public monuments. His work focuses on the representation of a subject and the nature of representation itself.
“Right now everything I do seems to be about my identity as an individual and as a member of a group. I’m a Canadian, a Henderson, a part of this or that organization, but as I fall asleep each night I’m very aware that ultimately I’m on my own. So this colours everything I do now, what subjects to look at, how I choose to approach them … I am two different things at the same time, individually and collectively here. That’s what I am working with now in my art and in my life – getting that balance right.” Alan began sculpting by leaving school to open a studio in the Old Grain Exchange building in downtown Calgary. He eventually moved from the city to a log home in the woods of central Alberta and settled in St. Albert. Alan’s interest in the use of the figure in art is fueled by his own culture and his travels around the world both as a soldier and on his own. One of Alan’s most recent public commissions is “9 Figures in Motion with a Puck”, a 30 X 30 foot mixed media wall sculpture at the Rogers Place Arena in Edmonton. For more information: www.hendersonsculpture.com
Newfoundland and Labrador’s nationally acclaimed sculptor and visual artist Morgan MacDonald is best known for large monumental bronze works and sculptural interpretations of Newfoundland’s history and culture. Morgan works in the tradition of lost wax casting from his foundry and studio in picturesque Logy Bay. Born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Morgan’s works are realistic and technical in nature with an emphasis on expressive emotive qualities. As a student in the Fine Arts program at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Morgan was introduced to the bronze foundry process. After leaving art school he began a three year sculpture apprenticeship. During this time Morgan also enrolled in Memorial University’s School of Business and completed his Business Degree. It was at that time that he began developing the idea of his first major work titled “The Rower”. This work has become his signature piece and a local icon for the City of St. John’s. Morgan’s art can be found as far away as Sopron, Hungary and has been unveiled by notable dignitaries including Prince Charles and the Prime Minister of Canada. Morgan’s most recent work of national prominence is the RCMP Memorial to four fallen officers in Moncton, New Brunswick unveiled in 2016. For more information: www.morgansculpt.ca
Nathan’s Scott’s most recognizable work is likely his sculpture of Terry Fox at Mile 0 of the Trans-Canada Highway in Victoria, BC. Another hugely appreciated work, ‘The Homecoming’, a multi-figure sculpture which commemorates the 100th Anniversary for the Canadian Navy graces the inner harbour in Victoria. In 2014, Nathan completed a bronze public commission of the two Mr. Grays in Charlottetown, PEI celebrating the Confederation of Canada. A large variety of Nathan’s sculptures also reflect the wildlife found where he resides on Canada’s west coast. Nathan’s studio and foundry is in Victoria, BC, near Butchart Gardens. Nathan, his wife and children, a multitude of chickens and a family of pigs live there on a hobby farm. For more information: www.sculpturebynathanscott.com