Trent University Library & Archives

Art Collection

Glimpses of TUAC

Trent University has been acquiring works of art since 1963. Currently, there are approximately 600 pieces in the Trent University Art Collection (TUAC). These works, created in a variety of media, are by local, national and international artists. Many of the works reflect the culture, history, environment and academic mission of Trent. Contemporary Aboriginal art and historic Canadian art are particularly well represented at Trent University. The TUAC does not exist in a gallery, but rather in public space. This is intentional! By integrating the TUAC into the living environment at Trent, people are able to have daily encounters with the collection. The vast majority of the collection is permanently exhibited. We hope you enjoy these selected works.

Trent University Art Collection Home Page. Contact: artcollection@trentu.ca

Anishinaabe Art TourA self-guided walking tour exhibit, curated by Jonathon Lockyer, director of Artspace and Trent alumnus, was launched in May 2015. Focused on Trent's Indigenous art, the exhibit is titled "On the Shores of Odoonabii-Ziibi: Anishinaabe Art from the Trent University Art Collection."

General Tour

1. Brenda Bury.
Thomas H.B. Symons / 1989

Toronto-based artist Brenda Bury specializes in portraits of prominent Canadian and British government and non-government personalities. Regarding her work, Bury says that she needs to keep a keen eye on world affairs, and that political clashes and social upheavals are the products and destroyers of the subjects she paints. She explains that her interest in human rights, for example, has helped her to develop an understanding of how people relate to their society. Her goal, she says, is to express and record that relationship through the stroke of her paintbrush. Her portrait Thomas H.B. Symons was commissioned by Trent University in 1989.

Source: http://www.brendabury.com

Art Collection 

© Brenda Bury

LOCATION: Bata Library: 1st floor

2. Spencer J. Harrison.
It's About Belonging / 1999

Canadian artist Spencer J. Harrison is a Trent alumnus. Regarding his work, It's About Belonging, and his relationship with Trent's Special Needs Department, Harrison says, "one of the most important components of any Special Needs department is the sense of belonging it creates or restores for the student. Being diagnosed as a LD student isolated me from the greater community of students. Once I got involved with the Special Needs department and accessed the tools I needed to work with my learning disabilities, I no longer felt isolated. In fact, I was now a member of two communities, the supportive Special Needs community and the competitive greater student body. It's About Belonging is a painting which illustrates these feelings for me... "

Source: Trent University Art Collect on files.

Art Collection

© Spencer J. Harrison

LOCATION: Blackburn Hall: Room 132

3. Jack Bush.
Nice Pink 1965 / 1965

The serigraphs by Canadian artist Jack Bush are one of the highlights of the Trent University Art Collection. Influenced by artist and designer Charles Comfort, who is also featured in the collection, Bush painted his perception of elements. He did not paint a flower but rather how he perceived the flower. Bush's work is exhibited in sites such as the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; and the Tate Gallery, London, UK.

Source: http://www.gallery.ca/en/see/collections/artist.php?iartistid=816

Art Collection

© Jack Bush

LOCATION: Lady Eaton College: Senior Common Room, Room 301

4. John Donoghue.
Daisy Under a Bug / 1982

After graduating from Trent University in 1985, John Donoghue became a professional photographer. He spent several years traveling both in Canada and abroad and has photographed, as examples, the efforts of Medicins Sans Frontiers in China and the 2003 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre. His portfolio encompasses work for a wide variety of clients. Donoghue's work has also been featured in gallery exhibitions across Canada.

Source: http://www.narrative360.com;
Trent University Art Collection files

Art Collection

© John Donoghue

LOCATION: Lady Eaton College: Senior Common Room, Room 301

5. Ron Thom.
(Aerial view of the Champlain College site)

The construction technique chosen by Ron Thom for Champlain College and implemented by Morden Yolles was similar to that used by Eero Saarinen at Yale University: rubble aggregate and concrete were poured into forms along with reinforcing materials and grout. All rock used was local and intensified the interplay between natural and built landscapes. Champlain's grouped buildings surround a courtyard; the play of light and shadow on the concrete surfaces allow for ever-changing perspectives. Thom also chose designer furniture, along with the light fixtures and dishes for the University.

Source: Trent University Archives Web Site (see http://digitalcollections.trentu.ca/exhibits/precambrian_sublime/ztchampl.htm);
Trent University Art Collection files (interview with John Earnshaw, 19 June 2003)

© Ron Thom

LOCATION: Champlain College: College Office area, Room 202.5

6. Robert Murray.
The Heeney Banners / 1985

Robert Murray is a world recognized Canadian sculptor whose pieces are exhibited in places such as the External Affairs Building in Ottawa, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the National Gallery, Ottawa. The Banners were designed in memory of Champlain College's third Master, Brian Heeney, and reflect the complex interaction of plane and angle central to Ron Thom's architectural conception of Trent. Official installation in the Great Hall, Champlain College, occurred in October 1986 during "Reunion Weekend."

Source: Trent University Art Collection files

Art Collection

© Robert Murray

LOCATION: Champlain College: Great Hall

7. Robin Bell.
Trophy Number 2 / 1986

This sculpture was purchased by Trent University in 1986 with funds from Wintario and the Greer Fund for Canadian Arts. It is one of the three castings of this work. The studio of Robin Bell, an Ontario-born artist is in Pietrasanta, Italy. Bell has been commissioned to create public sculptures in bronze and marble in places such as Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, London (UK) and Hong Kong.

Source: Trent University Art Collection files

Art Collection

© Robin Bell

LOCATION: Environmental Sciences Building: bottom of circular staircase

8. Roberta Bondar.
Sirmilik Hoodoos Panorama / 1999

Dr. Roberta Bondar holds the distinction of being the first Canadian woman to fly in space. She is an accomplished neurologist, scientist, pilot, astronaut and photographic artist. She has received 24 honorary doctorates from Canadian and American universities and was Chancellor of Trent University from 2003 to 2008. One of three photographic works donated by Dr. Bondar to Trent University, Sirmilik Hoodoos Panorama was taken in Sirmilik National Park, Nunavut (700 km above the Arctic Circle). This image is part of a series on Canada's National Parks in the last millennium.

Source: http://www.trentu.ca/news/pressreleases/040526rbondar.html;
Trent University Art Collection files

Art Collection

© Roberta Bondar

LOCATION: Chemistry Sciences Building: Larry E. Seeley Chemistry Computational Lab, Room E103

9. Cecil Richards.
The Parting of the Waters

Cecil Richards was originally from Cornwall, UK, and came to Canada in 1925. In 1951, Richards started the sculpture department at the University of Manitoba. He also taught at the University of British Columbia and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 1966, he retired in Lakefield, Ontario, north of Peterborough, and established strong links with Trent University. In the mid-1970s the artist held an exhibit at Trent's Mackenzie Gallery. The Parting of the Waters was donated to the University by Jean and Tom Nind.

Source: Trent University Art Collection files (interview with Jean Nind)

Art Collection

© Cecil Richards

LOCATION: Otonabee College: west lawn

10. Jeronimo Gonzalez-Martin
A Capitalist Nightmare / 1972

Jeronimo Gonzalez-Martin, originally from Spain, came to Canada in 1960 and to Trent in 1965. He became head of the Hispanic Studies Department in 1967. In 1974, Gonzalez-Martin was commissioned to do A Capitalist Nightmare and Canadian General Electric donated the scrap metal for his work. Apart from sculpture and painting, Gonzalez-Martin is also well-known for his literary talents in poetry and essay writing. His paintings, poems, and sculptures reflect his concern with the days of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and with social justice. This impressive sculpture is an integral part of Otonabee College and the University. Another smaller sculpture by the artist is located near the Great Hall in Champlain College.

Source: Trent University Art Collection files

Art Collection

© Jeronimo Gonzalez-Martin

LOCATION: Otonabee College: west entrance foyer

11. Leland Bell
Sharing the Vision / 1989

Leland Bell was born in Manitoulin Island and graduated with a degree in Native Studies from Laurentian University in Sudbury. An Ojibwa-Odawa, Bell identifies as an Anishanabe, an Ojibwa word for North America meaning "from whence man was lowered." Bell has painted professionally since 1976 and also devotes his time to creative writing and to music. His acrylics and watercolours have been exhibited in Laurentian University, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Rothmans Gallery in Sudbury, and in a number of other galleries. Trent University acquired Sharing the Vision in 1989.

Source: Trent University Art Collection files

Art Collection

© Leland Bell

LOCATION: Otonabee College: west entrance foyer

12. Friedel.
The Otonabee River / 1974-1975

Peterborough artist Friedel Washchuk was Artist-in-Residence at Otonabee College in 1974-1975. During that period she wove and donated a tapestry representing the Otonabee River to Trent. Students participated in the weaving process under the artist's supervision. After studying weaving and spinning at the Textilfaschschule, Moenchberg, Germany, Friedel came to Canada in 1954. She exhibited her work throughout the country and developed strong links with the Peterborough community, where she taught weaving techniques.

Source: Trent University Art Collection files

Art Collection

© Friedel

LOCATION: Otonabee College: Wenjack Theatre

13. Yousuf Karsh
Dr. Gilbert C. Monture, O.B.E.

Yousuf Karsh came to Canada in the 1920s and studied photography in Canada and the USA, specializing in portraits. Of world renown, Karsh's most famous photograph is of Winston Churchill, taken in 1941 on a visit to Ottawa. Gilbert C. Monture, once a member of Trent University's Board of Governors and the subject of another of Karsh's works, was born in 1896 on the Six Nations Reserve, Brant County, Ontario. In 1921, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining and Metallurgy from Queen's University. Monture fought in World War I and during World War II, he worked in the Department of Munitions and Supply. In 1956, he was appointed vice-president of Stratmat, a Canadian minerals exploration and development company. In 1957, he received the Indian Achievement Award of the Indian Council Fire for notable contributions in his field. In 1958, he was appointed honorary chief of the Mohawk tribe of the Six Nations Reserve at Brantford. He was elected a member of the Order of Canada. Monture served on the Board of Governors at Trent University from 1966 to 1973. He died in 1973.

Source: Trent University Art Collection files;
Trent University Archives Gilbert C. Monture fonds (see http://www.trentu.ca/library/archives/97-017)

Art Collection

© Karsh

LOCATION: Gzowski College: Elder's Lounge & TUNA, Room 322

14. Robert Davidson
Grizzly Bear

Famous throughout North America, artist Robert Davidson explains: "The purpose of my art is to express the contemporary life and meaning of my ancestral culture, that of the Haida people of Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). From the time I raised the first totem pole in my home village of Massett, I have been committed to the use of cultural knowledge to celebrate the present as well as the past." Davidson's work is exhibited in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Glenbow Museum, National Gallery of Canada, Royal British Columbia Museum, Royal Ontario Museum, and the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, to name only a few.

Source: Trent University Art Collection files

Art Collection

© Robert Davidson

LOCATION: Gzowski College: Native Studies Lounge, 1st floor

15. Carl Beam
Neoglyph 2; Untitled

Carl Beam's work is famous throughout North America. An Ojibwa, Beam combines autobiographical, commercial, photographic, and art historical references, evoking the dissonances between Euro american and Native cultures. The juxtaposition of conventional signs and symbols in innovative associations stimulates viewers to question their traditional understanding of images, and facilitates social commentary. On commission, Beam constructed a large-scale work, Exorcism, for the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and was artist-in-residence at Artspace in Peterborough, Ontario, in 1988. Two years earlier, Beam's painting The North American Ice-berg became the first Native artwork purchased by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, since 1927. Three other works by Carl Beam are located at Trent University, as well.

Source: http://www.neonravenartgallery.com/carl/carl-bio.html;
http://www.carleton.ca/gallery/beam/icon.htm;
Trent University Art Collection files

Art Collection    

© Carl Beam

LOCATION: Gzowski College: Native Studies Lounge, 1st floor

16. Charles Comfort.
Legend / 1965

Renowned Canadian artist Charles Comfort became a cadet officer with the University Officers Training Corps in 1939 while on staff at the University of Toronto. In 1943 he was appointed Senior Official War Artist. In 1946 he returned to work at the University of Toronto. In 1956, he published his war diaries in the volume Artist at War. From 1960 to 1965, he was Director of the National Gallery of Canada. Charles Comfort was an Honorary Member of the Champlain College Senior Common Room. This piece is a sketch of the large mural Comfort painted in the National Library in Ottawa and it was a donation of the artist himself to Trent.

Source: Trent University Art Collection files

Art Collection

© Charles Comfort

LOCATION: Bata Library

17. John Snow
Bottles

After serving in World War II, John Snow (1911-2004) studied life drawing at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art in Calgary with Maxwell Bates. His art reveals the influence of Bates and also the influence of the modernist European approaches that he was exposed to during the war years. Snow believed that that art should be accessible to people of all means. A printmaker, painter, and sculptor, Snow created over 450 lithographs, 13 woodcuts and 20 etchings. He experimented with music, film and theater and had a career as a banker from 1928 to 1971. Snow was awarded the Alberta Order of Excellence by the Province of Alberta in 1996 for his contribution to the arts, and his works are exhibited in the National Gallery of Canada, the Glenbow Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, and numerous other galleries across Canada.

Source: Trent University Art Collection files

Art Collection

© John Snow

LOCATION: Traill College: Scott House, Senior Common Room, Room 104.2

18. David James
Portal

Two sculptures named "Portal", created by artist and Trent Alumnus David James '68, were acquired by Trent University in 2011. One of these, comprised of kiln cast crystal, is located on the second floor of Bata Library near the windows facing the Otonabee River. This work is a companion piece to an 8000 pound granite sculpture located on the east bank of the Symons Campus. Comprised of Belfast black granite from South Africa, the larger piece is approximately six feet tall and seven feet wide. Located on the slope between Peter Gzowski College and the Chemical Sciences Building, the work overlooks the nearby Warren Garden and is visible to passersby on the River Road and from the Faryon Bridge which crosses over the Otonabee River. Both pieces have been designated cultural property by Canadian Heritage. David James is internationally recognized and is an award-winning artist whose studio is located in Sutton, Quebec.

Art Collection

Art Collection

© David James

LOCATION: Symons Campus: Bata Library; east bank near Chemical Sciences Building

19. The Goodman Collection Marmaduke Matthews.
Western Canadian Railway Encampment. Frederick Marlett Bell-Smith.
Bon Echo, Near Peterborough William Nichol Cresswell.
Fishermen Bringing in the Nets / 1880 Daniel Fowler.
The Mooring / 1875

During the 1980s, the Canadian Studies program at Trent University offered a Canadian Biographies reading course taught by Professor John Wadland. Student Elizabeth Wilton researched the English-Canadian painter Marmaduke Matthews. In the process of her research, the name of a Toronto area dermatologist and art collector, Dr. Jack Goodman, came up quite often. She decided to contact him and after a few initial conversations with Dr. Goodman, both Ms. Wilton and Professor Wadland were invited to visit the Doctor's private art collection. He had a substantial collection of Canadian art from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century that included many works by Marmaduke Matthews.

The research paper by Wilton that resulted, "Cloud-Bound: The Western Landscapes of Marmaduke Matthews," was included in a book on literary and aesthetic images of Canada by authors Glen Norcliffe and Paul Simpson. After the book was published, Professor Wadland maintained a correspondence with Dr. Goodman and the two became friends. Dr. Goodman offered to donate some of the art in his collection to Trent University and the first paintings arrived at the University in 1992.

The 48 pieces from the Goodman Collection are located in Kerr House at Traill College.

Source: Trent University Art Collection files

Art Collection

© Marmaduke Matthews

Art Collection

© Frederick Bell-Smith

Art Collection

© William Nichol Cresswell

Art Collection

© Daniel Fowler

LOCATION: Traill College: Kerr House, Wilson Reading Room

Trent University Library & Archives

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