Category Archives: Background

The #StationaryCrew Tour: Part 2

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor anything else the nasty weather gods could throw at us deterred these intrepid #StationaryCrew devotees (or perhaps conscripts) from their appointed rounds …. visiting The Family in the Fountain, The Blacksmith Fountain, John Galt, and John McCrae.

If ever a group of students earned participation marks it was this group on this day!


What’s Next?

The #StationaryCrew Tours will continue next week (it’s a downtown road trip next). In the meantime students are working on special projects involving some aspect of one of the icons.

Their topics are quite broad and expansive: interviews on Twitter with some of the icons, stories about the creators of the statues, insights into why we treat some of the icons certain ways (painting Old Jeremiah, dressing the Begging Bear), intriguing aspects of their history, what people think of them, controversies that surround them, and many others.

And then there is the surprise. Pictures to follow on Monday afternoon.


The #StationaryCrew Tour: Part 1

Road Trip! Well, the first leg of one. And not very far. Today the hardy types among us toured three of the #StationaryCrew members: the Begging Bear, the Gryphon Statue, and Old Jeremiah.

Lot of snow. Bright sun. And a cold wind…..

First stop, the Canadiana/Begging Bear:

Begging Bear

Nice UG Alumni hat; nice UG scarf.

And, of course, there had to be selfies:

Begging Bear Selfie

On to the Gryphon Statue:

Gryphon Statue

And, of course, more selfies (although this one looks a bit more disorganized):

Gryphon Selfie

And finally, Old Jeremiah (still sporting his Legally Blonde attire):

Old Jeremiah

The selfie folks had given up by this point (too cold), but we did find two students who got lost from the pack!

Late Participants Cannon

The #StationaryCrew Tour Part 2 is in a few weeks. We’ll be visiting The Family in the Fountain, the Blacksmith Fountain, John Galt, and John McCrae.

Isn’t Love Grand?

It has been an exciting few days for the #StationaryCrew … especially Old Jeremiah. Here’s the post from Friday:

The so-called “FOSC” (Friends of the StationaryCrew), a witty group, couldn’t resist commenting:

And, as always, love prevails:

Of course, Old Jeremiah might be pushing his luck….


The NYPL Lions

“Patience” and “Fortitude” are the two lions “guarding” the main branch of the New York Public Library (5th Ave. and 42nd St.). They are by all measure, majestic.

They also make a good counterpoint to our investigation of Guelph’s icons.

According to a recent article (“Birthing the New York Public Library Lions” by Jake Rossen), these New York favourites weren’t so popular at first …. and they weren’t even called Patience and Fortitude! The meaning and identities of the lions grew over time. They “become” something else as the city needed them. Statues are never just statues.

A final curiosity, like the #StationaryCrew, both lions are on Twitter (@PatienceNYPL and @FortitudeNYPL). Unlike the Crew, both these accounts have “protected tweets” – you need their permission to follow them.

The Begging Bear had an observation when I noted this:


Getting Some Attention

Week 1 of the Project brought some unexpected, but delightful, attention. Andrew Vowles, columnist for the Guelph Mercury, wrote a story about the course: “Iconic Guelph Statues Receiving Extra Attention.”

Andrew provided an excellent reminder of what these icons are and how the course is trying to “uncover” them in a new way.

Things also heated up in the Twitterverse. OK, we hardly went viral, but we did get new followers and initiated some good discussion.

Guelph Arts CouncilSome of that was with the Guelph Arts Council. It turns out they have some resources (including photos) that will be helpful. We’re delighted to have the GAC involved.

As Andrew mentions, this course is really about the nature of community. Why are these objects so important to us? What do they mean for the city?

And these questions will get the students out into the community, researching the icons and their context , talking with people in Guelph, chatting to the icons on Twitter, and, most importantly, discovering why statues are never really just statues.

Let the conversations continue.

…Mike Ridley, Instructor

The #StationaryCrew

What can a cannon, a bear, a gryphon, a fountain, a blacksmith, a poet, a solider, and a pile of garbage tells us about Guelph and its citizens?

Let’s find out. Welcome to the #StationaryCrew Project.


Or as  one of the #StationaryCrew, The Begging Bear, refers to them:

Follow the #StationaryCrew project on Twitter:

And you can always tweet to the entire #StationaryCrew:

Enjoy the project.

…Mike Ridley, Instructor