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Bringing Art to Campus: Trent University Launches New Public Sculpture Initiative

Artist Shayne Dark’s ‘This Column Ends’ first of many sculptures to add to Trent University’s breathtaking campus environment

Sculpture of Portal by David James


A brilliant blue sculpture on display just inside the entrance of Trent University’s Symons Campus is the first among many art pieces to be unveiled as part of the University’s new public sculpture initiative.

Earlier today, renowned artist Shayne Dark unveiled his work entitled This Column Ends on the lawn outside Blackburn Hall. The piece highlights the contrast between industrial materials and the natural landscape of the Peterborough campus.

Heritage Canada certifies This Column Ends as a designated piece of Outstanding Significance and National Importance (OSNI). The piece is the latest addition to other OSNI certified works on campus including two Portals by David James ’68, installed on campus in 2012, and a bronze bust by Almuth Lutkenhaus of former Trent Chancellor Margaret Laurence.

Trent’s public sculpture initiative celebrates sculpture in Canada and will help the University continue to acquire nationally significant works that present unique and diverse artistic practices.

“As our collection grows it will build a greater appreciation and desire for art and sculpture in our lives,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent. “We look forward to putting Trent on the map as an art tourism destination in both the Greater Peterborough and Durham regions.”

As the initiative continues, artists are invited to add their work to Trent’s collection of more than 600 works, blending natural and human creations for all to enjoy on Trent’s beautiful campuses. The Trent public sculpture initiative is supported by the Jalynn H. Bennett Foundation legacy gift announced earlier this week. To learn more about this transformative $1.13 million gift, visit

The Trent public sculpture initiative is being launched during Artsweek Peterborough. In celebration of the event and to mark the unveiling of Mr. Dark’s piece, Trent University will host a Public Sculpture Symposium at Bagnani Hall at Trent’s downtown college, Traill College, on Saturday, September 22 at 2 p.m. The public is invited to meet artist Shayne Dark and enjoy a keynote talk by Joyce Millar, art historian and art consultant who is active in the Montréal art world as a curator, writer, and lecturer. To learn more about this event and to register, visit

About Artist Shayne Dark

Shayne Dark is an Ontario-based artist who has had his work exhibited internationally and is best known for his sculptural works. He says that he has always taken a keen interest in every aspect of the process of art production, which he feels draws upon and focuses the physical and perceptual experience of the world. His works, often coated by eye-popping saturated pigments are said to often evoke the contrasts between urban settings and the natural world and are meant to stimulate a spiritual or visceral reaction in the viewer. 

About  Artist David James

The two sculptures unveiled in 2012 provide a glimpse of the range and variety that are coming in the years ahead. Both works areSculpture of Bust by David James titled “Portal” and share the same form, but with contrasting grandeur.

One in stone stands on a slope near Trent’s Peter Gzowski College, home to a teaching and residence facility. The impressive structure overlooks the Otonabee River that flows through the picturesque campus north of Peterborough. The sculpture weighs 8,000 lbs (3,600 kg) and is some 6 feet (1.8 metres) high and long and is carved from Belfast Black granite from South Africa. The other Portal is made of high-lead topaz coloured crystal and weighs 120 lbs (54 kg). It is about 2 feet high and 1.5 feet long. The cast glass sculpture is displayed in Trent’s Bata Library and is the most valuable such work donated to date by a Canadian artist.

Philanthropic Opportunities

Collectors and sponsors are invited to donate sculptureto contribute to this dynamic initiative. Tax benefits can be as high as 100% of the appraised value for OSNI certified pieces. Recognition will include donor name on a permanent plaque by the public sculpture, within a media release, and at the unveiling.

The university is in discussions with several sculptors who have already expressed their interest in the university collection. These include; Joe Fafard, Lumsden, Saskatchewan; Claude Millette, St. Bernard de Michaud, QC; Peter Powning, Markhamville, N.B.

Public Sculpture Initiative travel costs generously covered by Merit Travel.

For more information please contact:
Hannah Routly
Manager of Stewardship, Volunteer and Donor Relations
Trent University
1600 West Bank Dr.
Peterborough, ON K9L 0G2
705-748-1011 x 7176


A Trent Public Sculpture Symposium Blue is the Colour of the Night 



You are warmly invited to join us for this public event

Saturday 22 September, 2018

Bagnani Hall, Traill College

310 London St, Peterborough, ON



2:00 p.m.


Keynote Talk by Sculpture specialist Joyce Millar,

on 'Canadian sculpture gardens' ( Lachine, PQ)

Followed by distinguished Canadian Sculptor,

Shayne Dark, on his work ( Moose Jaw, SK/ Kingston, On)


This event is open to the public, everyone is welcome to attend.

Light refreshments will be served





Shayne Dark's 'This Column Ends' will be formally unveiled at 2:00 PM on Friday 21 September at Julian Blackburd Hall, Trent University Symons campus




Peterborough Community

Durham Community