The Boyle Street Community Table. Jordan Tomnuk
Many of us who live in Boyle Street don’t have a back yard. If we want to have a picnic, we go out on a balcony or pack up a meal and take it to a nearby public park.
Are we overlooking another option? The spectacular community table in the Boyle Street Plaza (9538 – 103A Avenue) can seat large and small groups, and it is a work of art! Made from the Brazilian teak and welded steel, the table moves from a standard height that seats 24 people, to a bar height table that seats 16. It has spaces that accommodate wheelchairs and there is the option of standing.
The 22-metre-long community table was commissioned in 2013 as part of the Boyle Renaissance Project. Jordan Tomnuk, just recently graduated from the University of Alberta’s Bachelor of Design program, responded to a request for “public seating that promoted public engagement,” and his proposal won.
The Edmonton Arts Council statement on this work of public art says, “With durability in mind as well as beauty, Tomnuk chose the materials for their ability to withstand Edmonton’s changeable weather. He expects the table could last for up to 100 years and that normal wear and tear will just add a patina.”
“It was a fun project,” Tomnuk says. He remembers that many people stopped to talk while he was constructing the table. There were admirers, he says, but also the inevitable comments about how taxpayers’ money is being wasted on public art*.
To learn more about Tomnuk’s art and local business, go to tomnuk.com.
*The Percent for Art Program allocates one per cent of the eligible construction budget of any publicly accessible municipal project for the acquisition of art. The Edmonton Arts Council directs the program.
Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.