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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 99-010


Spencer J. Harrison fonds. -- 1962-2000. -- .75 m of textual records and other materials.

Biography / 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 is currently a graduate student in the Frost Centre, Trent University. Harrison was artist-in-residence at Trent University in 1994-1995.

Custodial History

This fonds was created by and in the custody of Spencer J. Harrison before it was donated to Trent University Archives.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of 4 boxes of materials related to the life and works of Spencer J. Harrison.

Box 1

Queer Project" correspondence, photographs of displays (some with Harrison), exhibit material, 4 1/2 inch betacam videocassettes, and other related materials. Exhibits of the project were held in Thunder Bay, London, Toronto, Peterborough, Edmonton, Hamilton, Red Deer, and other locations. Restricted materials related to this project are found in Box 1 folders 12, 13, and 14.

Box 2

of personal items, such as a passport, immunisation records, award ribbons, education records and school awards; Frost Centre (Trent University) thesis proposal and related correspondence; ACTRA performer contract; correspondence, notes, and greeting cards (includes correspondence related to Bill C-23); newspaper clippings, exhibition programmes, media releases, play programmes, brochures, catalogues, Humanities Research Day (Trent University) list of speakers, etc.; and photographs of Harrison, his works, etc.

Box 3

of works of art and poetry by Harrison (plus some unidentified). Included is a numbered print by Harrison entitled "Steering a New Course", 1989. Also included are 3 of Harrison's sketchbooks and one hand-written poetry book. Included also are 6 VHS videocassettes with the following titles: 1. 1997 City TV News 2. Spencer J. Harrison "Hospital Act", Jan. 10, 1996, and "Growing Up Gay", Aug. 23, 1993 3. Red Deer TV News; Arts and and Entertainment Red Deer; CFRN News Red Deer 4. Spencer J. Harrison, Hamilton Artists Inc., Jan. 10 to Feb. 15, 1997, open intro., documentation 5. News items: Spencer Harrison - art show opening, January 11, 1996, CITV and CFRN, Edmonton, press conferences 6. Jane Hawtin Live: "Out of the Closet... Into the Mainstream", June 30, 1997 Included also are 3 audiocassettes with the following titles: 1. CFMU Jan. 9, 1997 2. Average Good Looks edited audio; homophobia billboard for gallery use 3. untitled

Box 4

of 11 1/2 inch betacam videocassettes with the following titles: 1. Spencer J. Harrison: artist, gay bashing, Wellesly Hospital, art opening, introduction with Spencer 2. Spencer J. Harrison: artist, Wellesly Hospital, introduction continued, O'Connor Gallery, Dennis O'Connor 3. Spencer J. Harrison: Exhibit 2, O'Connor Gallery, B-roll; Spencer's studio, Peterborough 4. Spencer Harrison: Peterborough, studio 5. Spencer Harrison: Peterborough 6. Spencer J. Harrison: Peterborough, B-roll; Holy Trinity Church 7. Spencer J. Harrison: Holy Trinity Church 8. Spencer Harrison: Holy Trinity Church - introduction: Jennifer, Pride Day Committee; James Ferry, Anglican ex-priest; Spencer 9. Spencer J. Harrison: police headquarters 10. Spencer J. Harrison: police headquarters and city hall exhibits 11. Spencer J. Harrison: city hall exhibit


Title based on the creator of the fonds.

Includes 20 audio microcassettes, 6 audio cassettes, 15 betacam videocassettes, 6 VHS videocassettes, 377 photographs, 6 contact sheets, ca. 200 negatives, 3 sketchbooks, 2 sketches, and 1 painting.

This fonds was donated by Spencer J. Harrison. Restrictions:

This fonds is open, except for Box 1 folders 12, 13, and 14 which are restricted until July 1, 2009.

Associated material located at Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.