"The Start of Something Great," a new work by Heather Millar, has been selected for the Art in the City program, a joint project between the City of Charlottetown and the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts.
"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 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 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 P.E.I. Council of the Arts, with both sides sharing costs and the Arts Council providing the administration.
"I am so honoured to represent P.E.I.'s history as the birthplace of confederation in the form of a painting," added 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 Charlottetown 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, added, "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."
Born and raised in Alberta, Heather graduated from a Fine Arts program at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary in 1998. She and her husband put down roots in Prince Edward Island in 2008.
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. 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, 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 P.E.I. as well as in Toronto, Ont.