Exhibition: Glenn Priestley 'Yonge Street'
April 10 - May 3, 2014

Opening Reception with artist: Thursday, April 10, 6-9pm

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Artist Statement:

"As a young art student I found myself one cold damp winter day walking the streets of Arles, France where Van Gogh had painted some of his most famous and iconic images. I was suddenly made aware of how, through the imagination, a small provincial town could be recreated and transformed through the power of art. This realization remained with me and upon my return to Canada I set about developing the language that would allow me to explore my own landscape and community. 

In the years that followed, I observed how Toronto's Yonge Street had all the elements necessary for the type of work I hoped one day to create. Later, through family circumstance, I found myself living in Fredericton New Brunswick, but I always had the intention to return to Yonge Street. In 2010, I received a Canada Council Grant that allowed me to explore and expand my ideas of Yonge Street. However, upon my return visits to Toronto I could see that Yonge Street itself was changing swiftly and dramatically. Many of its famous and familiar landmarks were either gone or in the process of disappearing as the street went through its continual renewal and transformation.

These new works are the beginning of a much larger project – my personal interpretation, through the power of art, of this iconic Canadian street."

Glenn Priestley is a Toronto-born artist, painter, printmaker and teacher now living in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He lived his formative years in Scarborough, Ontario, where he attended the Vocational Arts Program at Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute.  Priestley is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art Fine Arts Programme, where he spent a year in off-campus studies in Florence, Italy, and graduated with an Honours Diploma in 1976.  His understanding of the figure was further enhanced through study of Anatomy at the University of Toronto. He has taught drawing and painting at numerous locations and institutions most notably on the faculty of the drawing and painting department at the Ontario College of Art, now OCAD from 1989 through 1996. Priestley's work has been the focus of two museum surveys:  The View from Tabor Hill, organized by the University of Waterloo Art Gallery which traveled to the Art Gallery of Windsor, and Glenn Priestley: Variations, at The Beaverbrook Art Gallery. 

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