The public can now submit feedback on what art pieces will be installed at the new Airdrie Multi-Use and Library Facility. 

According to The City, 'In December 2023, the City's consultant, STEPS Public Art, held a call for artist submissions, as well as a call for volunteers to be on the Public Art Selection Committee.

"In early 2024, the Public Art Selection Committee narrowed down 96 submissions to just four finalist artists and artist teams. Each proposal includes two art concepts, one for the main atrium inside the building, and one for the green space outside the facility, next to the Nose Creek pathway."

The final art proposals include award-winning artist Jill Anholt, who is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster, both of whom are Toronto-based artists, Caitlind r.c. Brown, Wayne Patrick Garrett, who is an artist and musician, as well as Adrian Stimson, a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation in southern Alberta, and Pierre Poussin, a Queer French Mauritian-Canadian artist. 

According to the artist profiles on the city's website, Anholt's practice includes commissioned environmental and sculptural installations and collaborative design team projects for public spaces across North America.

"Jill searches for a unique spark of magic in every project she undertakes which she weaves into dynamic spatial artworks that create connections between people, and between people and place, through surprising moments of discovery, revelation and/or transformation."

Her vision for the art installation is two public artworks entitled: Change of State/State of Change.

"Both interior and exterior works bring community imaginations about the future of this new facility together with forms inspired by Airdrie’s sometimes dramatic temperature swings and their sudden alteration of the city’s landscape."

Jamrozik and Kempster, who have collaborated since 2003, have created, 'spaces and objects that interrupt everyday situations in critically engaging and playful ways.'

According to The City, their work is in the public art collections of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Arts (CEPA Gallery), Edmonton Arts Council and the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge.

"They have exhibited in galleries, produced temporary installations and realized permanent public artworks in Canada, USA, Germany, France, Italy and South Korea, including solo shows at Vtape in Toronto, the Weissenhofwerkstatt in Stuttgart and Gallery Kolektiv 318 in Marseille."

Their idea for the art installations is the atrium “Community Portrait,” which is a, 'cloud of miniature colourful people suspended from the ceiling through a simple armature.'

"The figures are made by scanning Airdrie residents and 3D printing them using a biocomposite produced from agricultural byproducts. This kinetic artwork vibrantly represents the community at the new building’s entrance."

The plaza “Community Portrait” is composed of a ring of split boulders creating a colourful meeting place.

"The artwork represents the diversity of the community and aims to create new connections. The rocks will be engraved with phrases from residents describing what the community of Airdrie means to them."

Brown, on the other hand, graduated from Alberta University of the Arts in 2010 and earned an Alumni of Merit Career Award in 2019.

"She has founded numerous projects, collectives, and collaborative partnerships, including WRECK CITY, an organization curating experimental art exhibitions in pre-demolition spaces. She guided The Wandering Island with Lane Shordee & Wayne Garrett, facilitating ‘slow art for the audience of birds, bats, beaver, fish, and the occasional curious wanderer’ unfolding on an island in the Elbow River."

Their vision for the art to be displayed in the city's new library and multi-use facility is Landscapes of the Imagination, which is a, 'swirling cloud of stories floating up into the atrium of Airdrie’s Multi-Use and Library Facility.'

"Inside each bubble is a fantastical landscape, artfully crafted to reflect the favourite stories of library users – an intricate chandelier, drawings from the books that feed our collective imagination."

The other is called Sky Garden, which is a shimmering archway connecting the Nose Creek pathway to Airdrie’s new Multi-Use and Library Facility. 

"Hundreds of aluminum mirrors glisten in a curve rising overhead, referencing a garden trellis, cloud-form, or Chinook arch. These “sky flowers” reflect the colour of Airdrie’s dramatic prairie skies and magnificent sunsets."

Stimson is an interdisciplinary artist and exhibits nationally and internationally.

"His installation work primarily examines the residential school experience; He has used the material culture from Old Sun Residential School on his Nation to create works that speak to genocide, loss and resilience."

He was awarded the Governor General Award for Visual and Media Arts in 2018, as well as the Blackfoot Visual Arts Award in 2009, the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003; to name a few.

Poussin specializes in large-scale sculpture and public art.

"Poussin has had the opportunity to create dozens of permanent public artworks across Canada including multiple free-standing sculptures and integrated public art installations for architectural and landscaping firms, urban developers, as well as municipal and federal public art programs for cities across the country, including Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Collingwood and Vancouver."

Their visions for art include From Earth to Sky a public art installation symbolizing the connection between Mother Earth and Father Sky through a sculptural tipi.

"The seven poles, each adorned with Blackfoot pictographs, represent the seven generations practice and the seven local tribes. This landmark honours Indigenous heritage promotes community values and celebrates unity."

As well as the High Pasture Mobile, Past, Present and Future, which is a suspended art concept featuring pictographs in three circular patterns representing Airdrie’s past, present, and future.

"Created through community collaboration, including unique pictographs by local Blackfoot artist Adrian Stimson, it reflects diverse voices and stories, symbolizing Airdrie's unity and heritage."

The online feedback, which allows residents to see the artists' profiles, their submissions, and their works is open till Sunday, June 2. 

According to an agenda report to be presented to the Community and Corporate Services Standing Committee on Tuesday, next week, the second stage of deliberations and final artist(s) will be selected for recommendation to council. Then in mid-June, the Art Selection Committee Selected Artist(s) will present to council in-camera.

By July, council will select the artworks, followed by a contracting period. The artists will begin their, 'artwork fabrication, foundation and installation planning, and the artwork will be installed, which will last until July 2025.

By the fall of 2025, a public celebration will take place. 

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