Fonds 16-002 - Spencer J. Harrison fonds. 2016 additions

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Spencer J. Harrison fonds. 2016 additions

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the creator of the fonds.

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    • ca. 1940s-2014 (Creation)
      Harrison, Spencer J.

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    40 cm of textual records
    ca. 100 photographs

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Spencer J. Harrison was born in 1962. An artist who has lived and painted in Peterborough for several years, Harrison's work has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally. Of special significance is his project "Would You Beat this Man?, or more affectionately, "The Fag Project"" which was shown in several cities across Canada and addresses the issue of fear and hatred of gay people. The project is known widely as "The Queer Project." Harrison is also an art instructor and a graduate of the Frost Centre, Trent University. Harrison was artist-in-residence at Trent University in 1994-1995.

    Custodial history

    Fonds was in the custody of Spencer J. Harrison before being donated to Trent University Archives in 2014.

    Scope and content

    Fonds consists of two boxes of materials related to the life of Spencer J. Harrison, artist and gay activist.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Fonds acquired from Spencer J. Harrison in 2014.


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        This fonds, along with 03-001 and 06-001, is an addition to 99-010.

        General note

        Outsized materials located in Large Materials Cabinet - Drawer 54.

        General note

        Box 1

        “Not a Freak Show, Growing Up Gay in Rural Ontario: An Arts-informed Inquiry” 108 pages: illustrations (28 cm x 44 cm). Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education. University of Toronto, c2014.

        Three Stories: A Doctoral Proposal

        A Few Stories and a Discussion of Why and How They Need to Be Told: A Doctoral Proposal

        Thinking of Shaquille Wisdom: A Rationale for Arts-informed Research

        Writing Through the Flood: Making Sense of Qualitative Research

        Spencer J. Harrison, Artist Activist or Both: A Queer, Canadian artist’s self-examination of his shifting roles as the producer of “The Queer Project”, May 2001

        Apples, Art and Activism: A Look Into The World of Spencer Harrison

        University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies, Program of the Final Oral Examination for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Spencer J. Harrison. April 10, 2014

        10 large plates (6 labelled & 4 unlabeled) including: Plate 18 Freak Show: Tent Exterior Panorama; Plate 19 Freak Show: Tent Interior Panorama; Plate 20 Freak Show: Tent Exterior Panorama; Tent outside 2 and inside 3
        Come One, Come All To The Freak Show! (4 variant panoramic posters rolled)

        Box 2

        Folder 1:
        Photographs: Spencer J. Harrison; family, ca. 100, 1940s-2010s

        Folder 2:
        Curriculum Vitae & Biography

        Folder 3:
        Convocation book: Queen’s University, 1987

        Folder 4:

        Folder 5:
        Ontario Council of Arts: applications and correspondence

        Folder 6:
        The Peterborough Review, Vol. 1, No.4, 1995; cover painting by Spencer J. Harrison
        Brochure re SpeakOUT Conference 2001, York Region District School Board; includes Conference Agenda; Keynote speaker: Spencer J. Harrison (address not included)

        Folder 7:
        The Kamloops Art Gallery: Exhibition “Vessels of the Heart” Correspondence, Advertisements, Review, January – February 1989

        Folder 8:
        Lindsay Gallery Exhibition: June-July 1989

        Folder 9:
        Art Gallery of Ontario, 1989

        Folder 10:
        Art Gallery of Peterborough, 1989-1990

        Folder 11:
        The Canada Council, [1987-90]

        Folder 12:
        Trent University
        2003 Convocation: Information and Instruction, Friday 30 May 2003, 3:00 pm.
        Trent Alumni Magazine: Winter 2007(38.1); Fall 2011; Winter 2012
        Annual Report to the Community, 2011
        Announcement of M.A. Thesis Oral Examination: Spencer J. Harrison “The Queer Project: The Distance Between History and Truth”

        Folder 13:
        Newspaper clippings from the Peterborough Examiner re the Peterborough Flood 2004, including the benefit show

        Folder 14:
        Bloor No. 1, 2010, pages 44-51. Interview with Spencer J. Harrison: Homophobia Project

        Folder 15:
        University of Toronto
        Correspondence & Poster: “11th Annual Dean’s Graduate Research Conference, 2011
        Miscellaneous Toronto Arts Events

        Folder 16:
        Camp Firefly: thank you cards and notes received by Harrison from his camping students, Summer 2011

        Folder 17:
        Newspaper clippings: articles and reviews of Harrison’s artwork including: Peterborough Examiner; Toronto Star; Whig-Standard; Arthur; The Wire: Alternative; Lindsay Daily Post; Hamilton Spectator; Bayview-Mills Town Crier; Extra, Toronto’s Gay & Lesbian News

        Folder 18:
        Ontario College of Art & Design
        Project 31, Lot 5 Spencer J. Harrison
        Project 31, Lot 35 Spencer J. Harrison

        Folder 19:
        Advertisements for Harrison’s exhibitions
        Art show advertisements

        Folder 20:
        Correspondence pertaining to artworks 1988, [1989]

        Folder 21:
        Newspaper clippings pertaining to apartment fire, 22 February 1996

        Folder 22:
        Miscellaneous brochures and newspaper clippings

        Folder 23:
        Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, A Celebration of Marriage between: [….]
        Howell, Fleming, Barristers, Solicitors, Notaries: correspondence, 1993

        Folder 24:
        Letters sent by Spencer J. Harrison to his mother Dorothy Jean Harrison, ca. 1985-2002

        Folder 25:
        Maps of farm drawn by Dorothy Harrison “On Walls on PHD Tent”

        Folder 26:
        Sweet Water Shores Otonabee Poems, Vol.1, Book 4, 1980, Keene Press, Publishers (includes poems by Dorothy Sullivan (i.e. Dorothy Jean Harrison))
        Newspaper clippings from Peterborough Examiner, 1977-2013; also obituary for Dorothy Jean Harrison, 2014

        Loose in box:
        Queen’s Yearbook “Tricolour”, 1987
        Spencer’s Great Ideas volume 1
        Harrison’s artwork, personal sketchbook & sketches

        Large Materials Cabinet - Drawer 54

        4 class photographs, Queen’s University, 1983-1987
        “Vessels of the Heart” poster
        Graduation card

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