“Malevich Extended” (1990-1995), by Peter Hide, is a rusted steel sculpture located outside MacEwan University’s Allard Hall. Hide arranges
segments of other incomplete sculptures, which are called passages, along a 24 foot long base to make up the largest piece in the Alberta
Foundation for the Arts collection.
A scattering of sculptures
The City Centre is filled with works of art
that stand as testimony to Edmonton’s dedication to beauty
Words and pictures by Layla Dart
PUBLIC ART adds life, beauty and colour to a city. From abstract sculptures to interactive art work, it’s hard to walk far in the City Centre without coming across a piece of art. In the City of Edmonton’s Public Art Collection, there are over 200 works that have been commissioned to brighten up our streets, train stations, and parks.
When it comes to funding these pieces, the Percent for Art Program, adopted in 199, allocates one per cent of the construction budget of any publicly accessible project to commission public art. This program is directed by the Edmonton Arts Council.
“Public art is interesting because it’s not the the same as art in public spaces,” says David Turnbull, Director of Public Art & Conservation at the Edmonton Arts Council. “Public art as a practice really looks to address the public, public spaces, and how we interact with one another in those spaces.”
“Espirit” by Pierre Poussin (2017) is a sculpture that captures the abstract form of a runner mid-sprint. Located in Alex Decouteau Park, Espirit commemorates Decouteau’s time as an Olympic runner.
“Essential Tree” (2015), by Realities:United — a berlin-based arts collective– is located on the Northwest Plaza at Rogers Place Arena. This sculpture is a representation of the abstract ‘trees’ used in models by architects, and explores the natural environment.
“Nature’s Harmony” (2017), by Leo Arcand, is a marble sculpture that was commission as part of the Capital Boulevard Legacy Public Art Project
– Canada 150. Arcand’s piece represents the lessons learned through nature, and draws from his cultural heritage and spirituality.
“Pillars of the Community” (2016), by Layla Folkmann and Lacey Jane Wilburn, transforms an LRT vent at MacEwan station into a multi-faced
mural dedicated to the diversity of Edmonton’s population. The portraits represent the generations of community members that are integral to
“Recycles” (2001), by Lynn Malin & Elizabeth Bowering Beauchamp, is also located in Beaver Hills House Park. This interactive sculpture offers
stationary ‘bikes’ fashioned out of found material, such as gates, railings, and bed frames. As you pedal, the figures atop the poles spin.
“Skaters’ Arch” (2015), by Douglas Bentam, is a sculpture meant to capture the movement of skaters. The brightly coloured cut out shapes
evoke the momentum of the skater, as their blade slices through ice effortlessly. It serves as almost a welcoming symbol atop a podium, placed
outside of the Community Arena at Rogers Place.
“World Enough, and Time” (2017), by Ken Macklin, was also commissioned as part of the Capital Boulevard Legacy Public Art Project, and lies
along 108th Street. Comprised of three metal spheres a top a column, Macklin’s sculpture is intended for viewers to examine the spheres and
consider the importance of the past, present, and future, and how our world is shaped.
“AmiskwacÎw Wâskâyhkan Ihtâwin” (2016), by Destiny Swiderski, offers an installation of three-dimensional birds on a wall, decorating an
entrance into Beaver Hills House Park. The fleet of Bohemian wax wing birds sticks out from the concrete to create a three-dimensional
experience, and the Cree name and syllabic translations in large font expresses the important heritage and indigenous roots of the park.