The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador sends out its deepest condolences to Gerry Squires’ family. Gerry was, and still is, an important figure in the arts community of Newfoundland and Labrador, and his passing will be seen as a huge loss to all.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ArtsNL offers condolences on the passing of former council member and visual artist Gerry Squires
October 5, 2015 (St. John’s, NL) – ArtsNL wishes to offer heartfelt condolences to the family of Gerry Squires on the sad occasion of his passing.
“Newfoundland and Labrador has lost a great artistic talent in Gerry Squires,” said executive director Reg Winsor today. “Gerry was not only an exceptional visual artist; he was a passionate and pensive commentator and activist for the provincial arts and cultural sector. He also spent a number of years involved with ArtsNL as a member of Council, and we were deeply thankful for his contributions and very dedicated efforts in that capacity.”
Gerry Squires’ body of work included the dramatic Newfoundland and Labrador landscape paintings in both acrylic and oil that he was perhaps most well known for. But he was also a skillful sculptor and recognized for his lithography and stained glass work.
Squires spent several years as an illustrator for the Toronto Telegram which often published his line drawings of historic churches and street scenes. Returning to the province in 1969, he lived in Exploits Valley and Bonne Bay before moving to Ferryland in 1971. There, he settled in the iconic lighthouse where he worked as an artist in residence and educator for Memorial University. In 1992 the university presented him with an Honourary Doctorate, complementing the education he received from Danforth Technical School and the Ontario College of Art & Design. He established Headland Studios in Ferryland as well, which gave him space to focus on his steel sculpture work in tandem with his painting.
Gerry relocated again in 1983, this time to Holyrood. A year later ArtsNL would present him with the Ted Drover Award for Achievement in Visual Arts and he was also inducted into its Arts Hall of Honour in 2007. Gerry Squires was invested into the Order of Canada in 1999 and received a Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal in 2003, as well as being made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
His work is found within the provincial art gallery’s permanent collection, the National Gallery of Canada, and at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to name but a few collections. The Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador organized a retrospective show in September 1998 called Gerald Squires: Journey that revisited his then four decade long career. Over the years that Gerry worked as a professional artist, his work was included in more than 300 solo and group exhibitions.
Joshua Jamieson, Communications Officer, ArtsNL
ArtsNL is a non-profit Crown agency created in 1980 by The Arts Council Act. Its mission is to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The Council is governed by a volunteer board of 13 appointed by government, reflecting regional representation of the province. This includes 10 professional artists who provide sectoral representation of the arts community; one community representative (with an interest in the arts); one business representative (with an interest in the arts); and one representative of the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development (non-voting). ArtsNL receives an annual contribution of $2.1 million from the Province to support a variety of granting programs, program delivery, office administration, and communications. It also seeks support from the public and private sector. It supports the following artistic disciplines: dance, film, multidiscipline, music, theatre, visual art, and writing.