Public Art(ists)

We want to amplify the intersection of art and everyday life at the hub

As an incubator for our city’s creative talent, we engaged Calgary-based artist teams who are community-focused, contemporary in practice and constantly pushing the boundaries of their imagination.

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{ PUBLIC ART AT cSPACE }

Yesterday Today Tomorrow by Caitlind r.c. Brown, Wayne Garrett and Lane Shordee

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow is a kinetic installation visualizing the complex passage of time as it relates to the site-specific concepts, people, and materials of the historic King Edward School. The installation takes the form of 105 suspended hourglasses, filled with sand crushed from sandstone bricks collected onsite during cSPACE’s renovations.Ranging from1-minute to 12-hour intervals of time, hourglasses will float through the Historic Grand Entrance and rise in a glassy cloud up towards the contemporary interior of the multi-use artspace. A steady stream of sand will rain down against the glass in a silent cacophony of movement. Every 5 minutes, a different assortment of hourglasses will flip, creating a complex visual aesthetic appearing at once both random and mathematical. Viewers who frequent the space will eventually learn to read these movements as the ticking of an intricate clock, mapping universal time in relation to abstract, personal measurements of time. Mysterious, experimental, and multifaceted, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow utilizes the hourglass as a powerful symbol of progression and momentum, drawing a direct relationship between the sandstone school’s past.

The project is supported through the City of Calgary 1% Public Art Policy.  The artwork is included in the permanent collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

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Imaginarium by daniel j kirk and Katie Green

Imaginarium uses a multimedia approach to transform the contemporary main entrance of cSPACE into a space devoted to the imagination. The work activates the entire four-storey stairwell, with a mixed material installation/mural, using low relief, collage, built material, light and shadow (LED lighting), silhouettes and screens. This installation began as an investigation of how the surrounding community of Marda Loop and the tenants of cSPACE relate to their creativity. The neighbourhood was engaged and welcomed to an onsite studio space for drawing sessions inspiring the project.  From these sessions, the artists distilled participant stories from the sessions into their own visual interpretations. Imaginarium seeks to better understand how people engage their imaginations and the relationships we form with the creative process.

Imaginarium was commissioned from artists Katie Green and daniel j kirk after winning an open call to Alberta artists. The project is supported through the City of Calgary 1% Public Art Policy.  The artwork is included in the permanent collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

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AFTER IMAGE by Caitlind r.c. Brown, Wayne Garrett and Lane Shordee

AFTER IMAGE is a large-scale architectural apparition drawn in physical space by stainless steel bars. Emulating the King Edward School’s historic grand entrance, the sculpture forms a three-dimensional wireframe of the entrance archway, columns, and balustrade, transposed 100 feet from their origin. Hand-bent to mimic each crack, crevice, and imperfection of the entrance at the time of transition between abandoned school and active arts incubator, AFTER IMAGE captures a single moment in time, and transposes it onto a growing garden. Over many years, tall grasses and bushes will sprout up through the cage of the sculpture, and vines will wrap its shiny façade. The resulting artwork will be glistening and ethereal at first, and increasingly overgrown in time. Marking both a presence and an absence, an invitation and intimidation, a point of connection and separation, AFTER IMAGE uses architectural language to literally frame the King Edward School’s most public space, offering a ghost manifestation imprinted on the eye – somewhere between that which is remembered, and that which is forgotten.

The project is supported through the City of Calgary 1% Public Art Policy.  The artwork is included in the permanent collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

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A Grain of Sand in an Ocean of Images
by Verna Vogel and John Pritchard

The mural for The Sandbox at cSPACE was created by artists Verna Vogel and John Pritchard.

The urban cityscape mural was created by incorporating historical materials salvaged from the original building, a
new dimension was added to the typically modern aesthetic of Verna’s urban paintings.
The artists’ hope people will hang their jackets, sweaters, bags etc., on those convenient coat-hooks,
because the varying colours and lengths and textures will help our mural stay alive, and why not
physically interact with art at work?

Honens Piano
by Eveline Kolijn

Pianoscapes is Honens’ gift to Calgary for the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation and cSPACE King Edward was lucky enough to become home to one of the Pianoscapes works of art by Eveline Kolijin. Eveline’s piano is intricately “decorated with the rhythms and patterns of Alberta.”

The project was inspired by the desire to enrich the community through providing access to music-making, and to encourage collaboration between business, music, and visual art. Five pianos are being transformed with designs that represent local artists’ unique reflections of Canada.

Poet’s Walk

This public artwork at cSPACE is the result of a partnership with our neighbours at Rockwood Custom Homes. It features three poetic art installations that acknowledge the importance of the land, the legacy of the former King Edward School, and the creative transformation of the site. Because of places like the Poet’s Walk, cSPACE is an inspired place to support communities of artists, nonprofits and entrepreneurs working in the culture and creative sector.

Along the Poet’s Walk You’ll Find

A poem by Dr. Leroy Little Bear, inducted with The Alberta Order of Excellence in 2016, speaks to the cultural importance of acknowledging the land.

A poem by Calgary’s first Poet Laureate Kris Demeanor. cSPACE commissioned Kris in 2011 to create a poem to be read during the groundbreaking ceremony, initiating the redevelopment of King Edward School into the present day arts hub.

A poem by Clara Anne Johnson, a former teacher at King Edward School, which was discovered in a centennial yearbook from 1967.

Photos:
Top row, left to right: Quote from Dr. Leroy Little Bear*; Quote from Clara Ann Johnson*; crowd gathers for the unveiling in October 2019.
Middle row, left to right: President and CEO Deeter Shurig; Board Director Ken Lima-Coelho; Patti Pon from CADA (Calgary Arts Development)
Bottom row, left to right: Kris Demeanor, installation crew at work, Kris Demeanor addresses the crowd

*Photo credit Katy Whitt Photography

We Are All Treaty People by Nathan p. Meguinis and Doug Driediger

Along 29th Avenue SW, you will see a colourful mural that brightens a concrete enclosure on the north side of cSPACE. In 2017, cSPACE tenant and Calgary muralist Doug Driediger created a whimsical portrait of the building’s namesake, King Edward, surrounded by symbols representing the arts. In 2021, the heartbreaking discovery of the buried remains of hundreds (and now thousands) of Indigenous children at the site of former residential schools shocked the country. As an organization that respects and invites inclusivity, and strives to be a safe space for everyone, cSPACE took some time to consider whether our colonial namesake still represents our values.

The answer came when cSPACE partnered with the Beltline Urban Mural Project (BUMP) to reimagine the mural on the north side of our building.  cSPACE engaged celebrated illustrator and muralist Nathan Meguinis to take on the project. Collaborating with the original artist, Doug Driediger, a striking portrait of Chief Bull Head was added to the right hand side of the mural. Magpies travel from one side to the other, carrying orange ribbons that represent the spirits of the children lost to residential schools. The mural has now become a symbol of hope for a new future.

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