Rogers Place said it vows it will never again place garbage cans on the Iron Foot Place tile mosaic in Ford Hall after pictures of the arena doing just that caused public outcry on social media Wednesday night.
Following the Edmonton Oilers season opener at the downtown arena Wednesday, garbage bins and a couple of “no re-entry” signs were placed on the piece of public artwork. The 3,500-pound mosaic, designed by Alberta artist Alex Janvier, is made up of nearly one million byzantine glass smalti tiles.
Watch below: Tile mosaic Iron Foot Place unveiled at Rogers Place
Pictures of the waste bins placed on the artwork popped up on Twitter to the dismay of many social media users who said it was disrespectful to the artist and indigenous culture.
“That’s not the way we want the artwork to be treated,” Katherine Kerr, public art director with the Edmonton Arts Council, said Thursday.
“We absolutely want people to walk on it and immerse themselves in it and enjoy it in its entirety, but it’s not for objects.”
Kerr said it was likely an oversight on behalf of a Rogers Place employee. She said the arts council spoke with staff at Rogers Place and the City of Edmonton, who assured her it wouldn’t happen again.
“It was probably somebody doing their job and thinking they were being very efficient. And we hope that it’s looked at that way and we can just let it rest.”
In response to complaints, Rogers Place confirmed it won’t place garbage cans or other crowd-control paraphernalia on the Janvier Mosaic in Ford Hall again.