warp 2017
Jeff Bridges: it really ties the park together by michael simon


The Working Artist Residency Program (WARP) ran July 10-July 30 during the Summer of 2017, with the artist living in the community and crafting their art experience on the Artpark grounds.


Michael Simon (Ontario College of Art & Design) – OCAD University was selected to participate in WARP at Artpark. Simon’s installation is entitled Jeff Bridges: It Really Ties the Park Together.

The installation reinvigorates the site of recently demolished cottages that housed visiting artists in the early years of the park.  Simon's architectural intervention reconnects the remaining eleven concrete foundation pads of the former cottages, both physically, by ten new wooden footpaths and gateways, and also figuratively, by tying together the park's past and present relationship to the visual arts.

Artpark encourages visitors and art classes to view the completed installation. There is no charge to view the installation. 

The Installation is located in the south west corner of Parking Lot B, in the upper park.  Enter Artpark via Portage Rd and parking Lot B is straight ahead, nearest to the brick Information Center building.



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Conceptual statement 

It is impossible to ignore the history and palpable energy of this place.  There is so much here to work with, contemplate, enjoy, and be inspired by.  Some of it is sublime and cannot be ignored, like the rocky landscape of the escarpment or the Niagara River that insistently wears away at it.  While some is equally awe-inspiring but is gone now or left no trace to begin with, like the installations or performances now only read about in old catalogues.  And some like the overgrown footbridge piers, or the repurposed footings of the Art El, or the recently abandoned foundations of the residency cabins, lie somewhere in between as the only remaining physical traces of inspired human thought slowly being swept away by the unrelenting forces of nature and time and their ability to maintain the consistency of change.  


Michael Simon is a practicing artist and designer currently enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Masters of Art, Media & Design program at OCAD University.  He holds a bachelors degree in Architecture from Carleton University and has worked for over a decade in design, lighting and fabrication - all of which he draws upon to inform his interdisciplinary practice.  His work re-contextualizes common objects, tools and materials in site-specific installations and explores the complex relationships of people and objects in our built environment.