(Barrie, ON) The City of Barrie and the Barrie Public Art Committee (BPAC) have installed The Horn and The Heart sculpture in Meridian Place in honour of the late Bob Hunter, a notable member of Barrie's business and arts community. The sculpture – created by local artist John McEwen – will be a proud feature in the heart of our community and will serve as a centerpiece for the City's Culture Days celebration.
The project was launched by a generous donation from the Hunter family and matching funds from his friends as well as community members. In 2019, BPAC issued a national competition for proposals of public art. McEwen's proposal was selected for the strength of concept and design, foregrounding two essential elements: the symbolic heart, based on music and the emotional core of the work; and specific recognition of Bob Hunter by means of his chosen instrument, the trumpet.
“We are so pleased to welcome the generous donations from both the Hunter family and community that brought this beautiful public art piece to life. Meridian Place is an ideal home for the sculpture and a fitting tribute to Bob Hunter, who was a strong influence and contributor to the arts community in Barrie,' said Mayor Jeff Lehman.
About Robert (Bob) Hunter
Mr. Robert (Bob) Hunter was an active member of the Barrie Chamber of Commerce (serving as president in 1968) and the Barrie Rotary Club. He attended Barrie Central Collegiate where he played trumpet with the concert band led by W.A. Fisher. Mr. Hunter developed a lifelong passion for performing music and played in several bands including the Barrie Concert Band, the Skyliners and The Bob Hunter Band. He felt strongly that there should be an outdoor facility on Barrie's waterfront where people could gather and enjoy live music.
About John McEwen
John McEwen is recognized as a pioneer in contemporary arts who is internationally renowned for his mastery of weathering steel. His creations feature among the world's most prestigious collections and exhibits, and his large-scale installations occupy public spaces across Canada. A socially engaged artist, he embraces numerous themes in his work, such as history, philosophy, technology and the environment. In 2019, McEwen became a Member of the Order of Canada.
The Horn and the Heart will serve as a centerpiece for the year's Culture Days. This year, Culture Days is extending beyond the traditional annual weekend of events to a more inclusive and interactive 4-week schedule of activities, from September 25 to October 25. For a list of Culture Days programming, including self-guided public art tours, visit barrie.ca/CultureDays.
To learn more about The Horn and The Heart visit barrie.ca/PublicArt.
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