Friday, March 28, 2014

New interactive sculpture will allow park visitors to get creative

Calgary’s Chinook weather phenomenon is legendary. It is also the inspiration for The City’s newest public art installation, which will use colour and light to enhance visitors’ experiences at Barb Scott Park this spring.

But unlike the uncontrollable weather, this interactive sculpture, dubbed Chinook Arc, will allow visitors to change its light sequence using hand movements. The sculpture will be highly visible along 12 Avenue S.W. and its soft glow will provide a reminder of warm Chinook winds during the dark winter months.

The artists, Creative Machines, say the shape draws inspiration also from the historic Beltline streetcar loop that once encircled the neighbourhood.

Collaborative design to collaborative art

Chinook Arc also extends the creative collaboration already begun during the consultation process and incorporates community involvement.

Extensive community consultation identified a desire for public art to be included in the development of the new park’s development plan.  Public art funds, as dedicated by Council policy, were used to help fund this piece and the final design was chosen by a panel of five Calgarians, representing both the neighbourhood and the local arts community.

The total budget for this interactive sculpture was $370,000.

Installation will close one lane

Fencing of the site has begun in preparation for the installation beginning on March 31. One east-bound lane of 12 Avenue S.W. and the parallel sidewalk will be closed for most of the day on March 31. No other impacts are anticipated to commuters or surrounding residents or businesses during the estimated three-week installation process.

The new Barb Scott Park is named after one of Calgary’s longest serving aldermen, who represented Ward 8 for seven terms. Scott passed away recently at the age of 83.

Follow the installation process on Twitter @Chinook_Arc.

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