Un-Painting the Cannon

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Posted: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 2:00 PM

For many University of Guelph students, painting the cannon is the epitome of campus tradition. We thought it would be neat to document a month in the life of the cannon – it’s changing colours and messages can be quite entertaining – but just when we decided to start snapping photos, the cannon disappeared behind a large, wooden enclosure! “OMG! What the heck?” we thought, only to find out that the cannon is being stripped bare, or ‘un-painted’, as part of an art project being undertaken by a Master of Fine Arts student.

Painting the cannon, which started out as an anti-war act, has continued for several decades, with the only rule being that “Old Jeremiah” as it is affectionately known, must only be painted between sundown and sunrise. It’s not uncommon for the cannon to be painted multiple times in one night, and seeing as how Old Jeremiah hasn’t been stripped since 1983 – before many of our students were even born – it likely is due for this “make-under”.

Once the cannon has been stripped bare, it will likely be only a few hours before it gets covered in paint yet again. When that happens, you can bet we’ll be there to document the changing faces of Old Jeremiah! Stay tuned!

For more information about the current makeunder, click here!

Liaison Officers pose with the cannon in August, 2010.

cannon enclosure
The cannon as it appears in late September, 2010.

University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1