Gerald Squires, an art-career retrospective of the Newfoundland artist Gerald Squires, who died in October 2015, examines lesser-known aspects of this beloved artist's creative journey. The book is set to be released in May 2017 during the opening of a Squires retrospective at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery in St John's. Featuring full colour reproductions of some of Squires' most renowned works as well as lesser-known illustrations of exemplary works, plus a complete chronology of his career, including a selected list of solo and group exhibitions, the book is augmented with a long essay by acclaimed Canadian literary critic Stan Dragland, and an appreciation by writer and poet Michael Crummey.
Gerald Leopold Squires
Gerry Squires was known for his dramatic Newfoundland landscapes in oil and acrylic, and for his portraits and surrealistic paintings. He was also a noted printmaker and sculptor. During his life had more than 300 solo and group exhibitions, including Gerald Squires: Journey, a major retrospective of four decades of his work, which the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador (now The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery) organized in September 1998. He was also an artist in residence and teacher for Memorial University of Newfoundland.Squires received many honours for his work. In 1984, he received the Ted Drover award for Achievement in the Visual Arts from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, and in 1992, he was awarded an honourary doctorate from Memorial University. In 1999, he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and appointed to the Order of Canada. In 2003, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Award, and in 2007, he received the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council's Hall of Honour Award. His work was also the subject of the 1995 publication, Gerald Squires: Newfoundland Artist.His work can be found in many private and public collections, including those of The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery's Permanent Collection, the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops, York University, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Several of his works have been deemed 'national treasures' and collected through the Certified Canadian Cultural Properties Act.Squires died on October 3, 2015 at the age of 77.
Stan Dragland was born and brought up in Alberta. He was educated at The University of Alberta and Queen's University. He has taught at the University of Alberta, at The Grammar School, Sudbury, Suffolk, England, in the English Department at the University of Western Ontario in London, and in the Banff Centre Writing Studio. He now lives in St. John's, Newfoundland. He was founding editor of Brick, a journal of reviews and founder of Brick Books, a poetry publishing house, which he still serves as publisher and editor. Between 1993 and 1996 he was poetry editor for McClelland and Stewart. He has published three previous books of fiction: Peckertracks, a Chronicle (shortlisted for the 1978 Books in Canada First Novel Prize), Journeys Through Bookland and Other Passages, and (for children) Simon Jesse's Journey. He has edited collections of essays on Duncan Campbell Scott and James Reaney. Wilson MacDonald's Western Tour, a 'critical collage,' has been followed by two other books of criticism, The Bees of the Invisible: Essays in Contemporary English Canadian Writing and Floating Voice: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Literature of Treaty 9, which won the 1995 Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Literary Criticism. 12 Bars, a prose blues, was co-winner of the bp Nichol Chapbook Award in 2003, the same year Apocrypha: Further Journeys appeared in NeWest Press's Writer-as-Critic series. Apocrypha was winner of the Rogers Cable Non-Fiction Award in 2005. In April 2004 the stage adaptation of HalldÛr Laxness's The Atom Station, co-written with Agnes Walsh, was performed at the LSPU Hall in St. John's. His most recent book is Stormy Weather: Foursomes, prose poetry from Pedlar Press, was shortlisted for the EJ Pratt Poetry Award in 2007. He is editor of the recently-released Hard-Headed and Big-Hearted: Writing Newfoundland, a collection of essays by Newfoundland historian Stuart Pierson.
Michael Crummey was born in Buchans, Newfoundland. His debut novel, River Thieves (2001), was nominated for the Giller Prize and won the Winterset Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and the Atlantic Booksellers' Choice Award. He also won acclaim for Flesh and Blood (1998), a book of short fiction. His most recent collection of poetry is Salvage (2002). He lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.
Crummey's concluding pieces hit a perfect note. Crummey met Squires's at divergent times and places: a dinner party on Bond Street decades ago; the Bliss Murphy Cancer Clinic at the Health Sciences Centre a few months before Squires' death. To me, Crummey responds to Squires as we all did: he thought Squires was handsome; he just liked him; he knew it was always good to find yourself in Gerry and Gail's company. It could be simply the position of a fan, but once Squires' saw you were truly attentive, he engaged you at a level beyond that. And Crummey also writes of seeing Squires' painting installed at the St. John's International Airport, hung behind the luggage carts. This is how we all see him now, through the work he has left us, a portal into what he perceived. --Joan Sullivan, The Telegram
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