The People of Canada Portrait Project - Inaugural Exhibition Open NOW!
The People of Canada Gallery - An Online Virtual Art Exhibition
The Official Gallery of the People of Canada Portrait Project.
Hundreds of photos, dozens of stories, 20 final portraits. You are invited to join us at the inaugural exhibition of the People of Canada Portrait Project.
The paintings in this exhibition span six years. In 2014, I launched this parallel project inspired by the conversations I was having with Canadians across Canada, the project became known as ‘The People of Canada Portrait Project’, in which Canadians submit their best Canadian ‘selfies’ and I paint their portraits. In 2016, I connected with people on the ground in Yellowknife, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. Through these experiences I had even more discussion and it is the people I met, in person and on-line, who set me on a deeper journey questioning, who are the People of Canada? Whether born, immigrated to, or ex-patriot, I wanted to know, the People of Canada. Fast forward to 2017; the photos kept coming in and my journey across the Canadian landscape continued. I was contracted to show my core work ‘Canadianisms’ in solo exhibitions during Canada150. So what began as a project for Canada150, became a project that would develop on the side over a number of years.
When I finish painting a portrait I find myself forever bonded to the subjects, through my expression on canvas and through their vulnerability in sharing their stories. It is the vulnerability that creates a great painting, and in this case it is required by all parties involved in the process of creating the portrait.
When I look back at where this project began, and how long it took me to get here, I am grateful. This project was created as a ‘passion project’. Something I would create on the side, while I have been working as a full-time visual artist. These portraits are also shifting as my painting style continues to evolve. I think all of these elements produce a more interesting body of work. I am eternally grateful for your support and your patience in the development of this body of work. Sincere thanks to the People of Canada.
The original goal for the project was 20-25 paintings, and I now have 20 portraits complete. With the closing of galleries across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and cancellation of art exhibitions, I began looking at new ways to bring this exhibition to YOU, in your home. Thanks to technology, I found a solution! And I am thrilled to present these paintings to you in this virtual exhibition.
The Gallery will be open from May 7, 2020, through May 20th. It is a virtual 3D experience, and it is open 24/7 – so grab a coffee, cocktail or craft beer and take a tour. With each portrait you will find an information link, that takes you through to an interview or back story about most of these portraits. It is a massive undertaking as I interviewed all of the portrait subjects myself, created all the behind the scenes process videos of many of the portraits (including music to set the tone) and created a project website to share all the submitted photos and stories, all on my own. I did not receive a grant through the Canada Council, I did not hire a web designer or an assistant. I did have a pretty smart guy by my side, cheering me on and giving me feedback, but the hands that painted the paintings, produced it all, on my own bank account.
If you feel like buying me a "coffee", while I continue to paint portraits and develop future exhibitions, or sending me an 'entry donation' so I can fund more paintings and virtual exhibitions, it would greatly appreciated!
Use this link: DONATING = LOVING