Gordon Smith honoured as Freeman of the Municipality
Friday, October 02, 2009
For Immediate Release
West Vancouver, BC: Artist Gordon Smith will be recognized as a “Freeman of the Municipality of West Vancouver” at the District of West Vancouver Council Meeting on Monday October 5th, 2009 commencing at 7:00 pm. Freedom of the Municipality is an honour bestowed upon an individual who has given outstanding community service within the community over a sustained period of time.
This is the first time that Mayor and Council have honoured a non-elected official. "On behalf of the whole community, it is Council's honour to present Freeman of the City to Gordon Smith, West Vancouver artist and citizen," stated Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones.
Gordon Smith’s most recent work, Beach Tangle, hangs in the new West Vancouver Community Centre and it’s the first public artwork in West Vancouver by Smith. A grant received through the provincial government’s Spirit Square initiative paid for materials and construction of the piece, but Smith donated his own time to the project. “I feel I owe it to the municipality,” says Smith. “I just love living here.”
Gordon Smith immigrated to Canada from his native England early in life and settled in Vancouver after fighting in World War II. He taught art first at the Vancouver School of Art (Now Emily Carr University of Art and Design) then at the University of British Columbia until he retired from teaching in 1982. The venerable artist has continued to be prolific with his depictions of British Columbia’s wilderness, and finds a distinctive balance between the figurative and the abstract. Smith, who turned 90 this year, was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1996. In 1997, the Vancouver Art Gallery mounted a 55-year retrospective of his work which was accompanied by a major book. He is one of the founding patrons of Artists for Kids Foundation. Gordon Smith also received a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts earlier this year.
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Patricia Leslie, Communications Manager