2023 public art - year in review
December 21, 2023
2023 was an exciting year for public art in Edmonton. A major highlight was the opening of the Valley Line South East, which made 13 incredible works of art accessible to the public. We also welcomed four brand new public artworks to the City of Edmonton Public Art Collection. Bringing new, dynamic energy to the already vibrant collection. Read on to learn more about this year’s exciting new additions to our city.
A Mischief of Could-be(s) by Erin Pankratz & Christian Pérès Gibaut
This installation consists of five standing sculptures inspired by how children freely interpret and imagine the world through play. The tree-like quality suggests the idea of a magical forest, while the ambiguity of the gestural forms allows for other interpretations, such as tentacles, snakes, arms, etc. The openness of the design encourages active and imaginative play in a non-prescribed way and creates a stage for children and people of all ages to create a world around them. The colour palette and design are bold and contemporary, giving the artwork an urban look and making it engaging for all ages.
Sipikiskisiw (Remembers Far Back) by Michelle Sound
ETS shelter at 10020 – 100 Street NW
Michelle Sound’s mural documents Indigenous relation to the land in Amiskwaciwâskahikan, with archival imagery of an Indian Affairs Papaschase reserve survey map from 1899 and a photograph taken before 1907 of Indigenous men and tipis on the grounds of Fort Edmonton. Using embroidery thread, caribou tufting, porcupine quills, and beadwork; the artist has ripped and stitched the images back together again. According to Sound the rips“show the colonial violence that Indigenous people have experienced, including residential school intergenerational trauma, loss of language, and displacement from our territories.”
Invisible Gate by Studio F‑Minus
Kinistinaw Park, 96 Street & 102a Avenue
At the base of the original Harbin Gate were“Foo Dogs,” or Guardian Lions — traditional Chinese architectural ornaments commonly used to mark gateways and entrances. The new pair of sculptures by Studio F‑Minus are contemporary re-imaginings of those original Lions. Invisible Gate returns this traditional symbol of the Chinatown community to the site, while also expanding the symbol to contain all the histories of all neighbourhood communities that have intersected with it.
Play it by Ear by Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett
Butler Memorial Park, 15715 Stony Plain Road
Play It By Ear is an interactive sound sculpture inviting a neighbourhood to talk to itself. The artwork is a series of brightly coloured telephone pillars placed throughout Butler Memorial Park. Each pair of telephones is connected by looping‘land lines’ curling underfoot. Park visitors can pick up any telephone and a matching phone will ring elsewhere in the park – like a hard-wired walkie-talkie system. If nobody picks up, you’ll be connecting to a voicemail where you can leave a message for your neighbours – and listen to the messages they’ve left for you! The phones invite playful possibilities for encounter through an invisible network of connections that mirrors the community of West Jasper Place.
You can access the tour here to download a copy of the map. You can also enter a start and end location to customize the route.
Want to make your own public art tour? You can explore the collection and create your public art tour by following these simple steps.
- On the EAC website, select “See All” in the Public Art section of the menu.
- Select an artwork from the collection by clicking the pin-drop icon. This will add the artwork to your tour.
- You can also select artworks on the map to create a tour within a neighbourhood or ward.
- Once you’ve selected the art for your tour, click“Build your tour” at the top of the page.
- If you want, you can enter a start and end location.
- You then have the option to download a PDF of the tour, share the tour, and open your tour in Google Maps.