Editor’s Note

Public art catches the eye,
engages the imagination

By Brian Williams, editor

BrianCollege Avenue and Gordon Street is the one intersection in Guelph where I don’t mind hitting a red light, as long as my view of the Donald Forster Sculpture Park isn’t obstructed.

That way I can take a minute to enjoy Evan Penny’s “Mask,” which sits at that corner. I’ve been doing this for years, as I arrived in Guelph not long before the “Mask” landed on the scene in 1989.

One of my favourite things about this sculpture is that its appearance changes depending on the viewer’s vantage point.
Back in the fall, when the Art Gallery of Guelph unveiled artist Don Russell’s “Circle Mound” in the sculpture park, it got me thinking about Guelph’s abundance of public art. Whether it’s the 39 sculptures on the grounds of the art gallery, the John McCrae “Remember Flanders” statue at the Guelph Civic Museum or the “Garbasaurus” in Royal City Park, it doesn’t take long for my mind to arrive at my favourite.

So, with the “Mask” on my mind, I decided this issue focusing on Arts and Entertainment was a good time to ask the members of the 05-evan-penny-mask-full-view-4Guelph Life Style Panel to identify their favourite sculptures and explain why.

Check out their responses, beginning on page 28, and take time to enjoy the cool photos of those sculptures captured by Dean Palmer. This would have been an easy assignment for Palmer to just do a drive-by, but he wanted to take advantage of the glossy format of this magazine, so he visited his targets at dawn and dusk to get something special.

I think you’ll agree his efforts were worthwhile. Spoiler alert: I really like the way the sky looks over the sculpture park’s Inukshuk.

Model update
ndguelph15_ofcAlejandra Simmons, our cover and Style section model for the November-December 2015 edition, has been busy since we worked with her. At the time of our shoot, the young Guelph woman was living in Toronto to pursue her acting career.

She relocated to Vancouver in the fall, and that has paid off as she reports appearing in commercials for companies such as Microsoft and Hallmark.

In an extended commercial for Hallmark cards, she plays a young woman who brings her boyfriend home for a holiday gathering to meet her family. You can see it on YouTube by searching #CareEnough Family Dinner.

Also since we last saw her, she has taken a turn as a screenwriter for a short film titled “Mestiza,” which she helped direct.

Working under the stage name AJ Simmons, she will return to Toronto for work in the spring. She plans to reprise her role in a web series and appear in a workshop production of a 17th-century Mexican play with Pleiades Theatre.

After that, she plans to head back to Vancouver to continue pursuing her dream.
Her website is alejandrasimmons.com  or you can follow her on Twitter at @JeniferAleja_S.