A celebratory evening in honour of artist John McEwen was held earlier this week, March 19, at Georgian College. McEwen is a recipient of the Order of Canada for 2019.
The Hillsdale sculptor is one of Canada’s foremost contemporary sculptors. He is recognized across Canada and internationally for numerous site-specific installations and public commissions. McEwen is best known for his use of stars as sculptural elements as well as naturalistic images and the occasional animal, one of which was on display at The Helen and Arch Brown Centre for the Visual Arts.
One of his best known public works is Searchlight, Starlight, Spotlight (1999) a set of three massive conical steel tubes perforated with 1000 stars, which was a commission by Maple Leafs Sports and is installed outside the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Another work, called Search Radio is a permanent wall divider of flame-cut steel at MacLaren Art Centre.
Many of his works are informed by poetic and art historical sources. He also draws on the rich history of the Canadian landscape.
A slide show of McEwen’s work ran in the background throughout the evening and, after a series of speeches, the artist spoke briefly about some of his pieces.
The standing room only event drew a mix of Georgian College faculty, local dignitaries and the who’s who of the local art scene including several who traveled from GTA and Woodstock to be there for the evening.
McEwen is currently represented by the Olga Korper Gallery in Toronto.