WATCH ABOVE: The first new art piece for the downtown arena has been revealed. As Vinesh Pratap reports, a world-renowned Canadian artist is behind it.
EDMONTON — Albertan Alex Janvier is the first artist to be commissioned to create a piece of public art for the downtown arena district. Janvier will translate his painting, Tsa tsa ke k’e (Iron Foot Place) into a 150 M2 tile mosaic to be inset in the Winter Garden floor.
The aboriginal muralist was selected from a list of Canadian and international artists to create the large piece. The total commission is $700,000 and is one of the largest to date in Edmonton. The mosaic will be one of four major public art pieces in the arena.
A City of Edmonton policy requires that one per cent of the construction budget be put towards public art for municipal projects. In the case of the arena district, $1.6 million was set aside for art.
Here’s how the art spending breaks down: $100,000 to a local artist for an interior sculpture, $300,000 for a national art piece, and $500,000 for international work. The national art piece and international work will be outdoors. The remaining $700,000 will go to Janvier’s piece in the Winter Garden.
Allocating one per cent of the construction budget to public art is a common practice across North America. The artwork is usually selected through a juried process coordinated by the Edmonton Arts Council, according to its “artist’s guide to public art.”
Selection committees are usually made up of City of Edmonton personnel, the project design team, artists and community representatives. Public art projects can be found across Edmonton, including at rec centres, transit hubs and around road projects.
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Gallery: Public art projects across Edmonton