Monday, July 31, 2017

City of Calgary takes cREative new approach to construction

Work on 17th Ave to replace water and sanitary lines, repair and rebuild the road and make public realm improvements including new sidewalks, benches, trees and street lights is well underway. Crews are almost halfway through the first year of construction and The City has developed with a new, unique way to help support business on 17 Avenue through this major construction.

The cREative Realm is a new program developed by Blank Page Studio in collaboration with The City of Calgary to support businesses through the creation of artwork along the Avenue that will encourage interactive, playful experiences that will draw Calgarians to the area.

"Unlock by Joanne MacDonald
“A major consideration we made before starting construction on 17th Ave is how we could support business owners and make sure construction had as little impact on their businesses as possible,” said Logan Tolsma, Senior Transportation Engineer. “We’re making sure that Calgarians can still access 17th Ave during construction and cREative Relam will let people know they can still come down and do all the things they want to do on 17th Ave and more.”

Artists will be working with The City and local stakeholders to respond to the unique situation of major construction in a vibrant, beloved area, using the characteristics of each block to inspire their art.

“The cREative Realm offers opportunities for Calgarians to question, participate, explore and enjoy 17th Ave through the duration of construction with the production and programming of site-specific creative projects,” said Daniel Kirk, lead artist of the cREative Realm. “This creative process offers support to business by encouraging community engagement and excitement along the corridor during the construction season.”

There will be at least four different projects that pop-up along the Avenue this year between Macleod Trail and 4 Street S.W. for Calgarians to enjoy and interact with.

A bronze marker for 200 Stories
200 Stories – Laura Reid, Mark Limacher and Matt Knapik
200 Stories is the first season of a project called City High Fortune. It is comprised of six audio episodes linked to locations on the 200 block of 17th Avenue SE. Guided by bronze survey markers installed in the ground, the public is invited to participate in a digital auditory tour of the space. City High Fortune collects histories, curiosities, futures, and fictions; it creates new possibilities for place through music, storytelling, and sound.

200 Stories is available now, with new episodes being released weekly. You can already find the bronze markers on the south side of 17 Avenue between Macleod Trail and 1 Street S.E.

Keys hanging from Unlock
Unlock – Joanne MacDonald
Unlock is a temporary installation that will use construction and recycled keys collected from Calgarians and local business owners to form a canopy of dangling, flowing keys over the sidewalk on 17th Avenue between 1 Street S.E. and Centre Street. Drawing on its symbolism, the humble key will bring light to the area and business community by the individual and unique meaning and representation of each key suspended within the installation.

Unlock is now on 17 Ave. Stop by and hang your own spare key!

Kaleidoscope Eyes – Rebecca Reid, Randi-Lee Ross and Ryan Bourne
Kaleidoscope Eyes will enhance the experience of 17th Ave between Centre Street and 1 Street S.W. by altering perception by using visuals, music and immersive art making with the intent of changing the way that Calgarians view a cityscape and the construction around them.

The artists will build a large scale kaleidoscope that will be accessible to the public at multiple events later this summer. The kaleidoscope will show the viewer either coloured glass etchings or collages of photos of 17th Ave. While the kaleidoscope is on display during construction the public will be invited to events where they can use the kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscope events will begin in mid-August.

Connect – Michael and Laura Hosaluk
Connect is a furniture based installation that will be built live in front of Calgarians on 17th Avenue between 1 Street S.W. and 2 Street S.W. by world-renowned creative wood turner, Michael Hosaluk and his daughter Laura. Over the course of a week the artists will create hundreds of spindles using a bicycle powered laithe to create a sculpture. Calgarians and local business owners will be invited to help paint and connect all the spindles in a way that reflects their experience with the construction on 17th Ave.

Connect will be built between August 11-17.

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