Art in the City Program, a joint project between the City of Charlottetown and the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts, is pleased to announce the selection of "The Start Of Something Great," a new work by Heather Millar.
"The Start Of Something Great" is a painting that represents the beginning of the Confederation Agreement during the Charlottetown Conference in 1864. The painting is an interpretation by artist Heather Millar to be displayed inside City Hall for public viewing, later this spring in preparation for the summer tourism season.
"My interpretation of this momentous event is represented using the image of the incredibly iconographic photo taken by George P. Roberts of the Fathers of Confederation posing on the front steps of Government House in Charlottetown," said Artist," Heather Millar. "I’ve combined this image with a stark backdrop of colour, conveying a sense of importance of the Founding Fathers, but also with an intentional amount of negative space representing the anticipation and journey that led to the eventual union of Canada."
This work is part of the Art in the City program, established in 2011 when the City of Charlottetown was named a Cultural Capital of Canada. The program is a collaboration between the City and the PEI Council of the Arts, with both sides sharing costs and the Arts Council providing the administration.
"I am so honoured to represent PEI’s history as the birthplace of confederation in the form of a painting," added Heather Millar. "I am absolutely thrilled that City Hall embraces this concept of contemporary artwork, and I look forward to "The Start Of Something Great" hanging proudly among many other paintings that represent our humble beginnings, deep roots and momentous history."
"The City continues to share a focus on arts and culture and we are continually impressed by the creative installations that we have the privilege to display at City Hall," said Mayor Clifford Lee. "We’re looking forward to seeing Heather Millar’s artwork installed as it will be an important legacy piece which also represents the celebrations taking place during 2014."
Dr. Greg Doran, chair of the PEICA, expressed his pleasure at the selection of Ms. Millar's work and the importance of the Art in the City Program. "I think that the committee has made an exceptional choice in Ms. Millar. Her new work promises to be an exciting addition to the walls of City Hall. Moreover, it is another example of how the Art in the City Program continues to lead the way in promoting excellent public art in Charlottetown. The PEICA is pleased that this wonderful relationship with the City continues to bear great fruit."
A link to the City of Charlottetown's Cultural Capital of Canada website and the Art In The City Program is noted below.
PEI Council of the Arts
City of Charlottetown
Art in the City began with the designation of the City of Charlottetown as a Cultural Capital of Canada. In its first year, it saw the creation of nine new works spread around the city, including the now iconic "Bluefin Bullet" at the corner of Richmond and Queen Streets. The program continued with the commissioning of the ``Heron`` that now stands at the base of Queen Street near the Merchantman Pub.
This year, the intention of the commission was to find a new piece of contemporary art to hang in City Hall that marks the importance of 2014 for the City and the Province.
Heather Millar - Biography
Born and raised just outside of Edmonton, Alberta, Heather began her art exploration early on in childhood. Still in her teens, she began a four-year Fine Arts program at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, graduating in 1998. From there she met and married her husband and moved back to Edmonton for several more years before moving out to St. John’s, Newfoundland and, in 2008, finally putting down roots in Prince Edward Island.
Over the years she’s discovered a fondness for the intensity of strong images and nostalgic colour combinations and has applied this aesthetic to much of her work. Like many artists who practice full time, her work has transformed and evolved, flowing between bodies of work representing inanimate objects such as beloved childhood toys, a love for our natural world including many Island creatures such as foxes, crows and barn owls, and a desire to reanimate old anonymous family photos and other figurative images into works on canvas.
Millar’s work can be found in private collections worldwide and is represented in PEI as well as in Toronto, Ontario.