A photo showing the concept of the art. The final art may differ. Studio F Minus
The Edmonton Arts Council has announced its choice of public art to be installed at the new Kinistinâw Park, on 96 Street (the Armature) between 102A and 103A Avenues. Two “lion figures” created from layers of clear, see-through acrylic will display cast models of objects contributed by community members.
Called the Invisible Gate, the artwork is intended to represent the lions from the dismantled Harbin Gate on 97 Street. It also represents the layers of civilization found in an archaeological site. The project’s goals include preserving the history of the area and its inhabitants, engaging the community in a meaningful way, and enhancing a public space.
The commissioned artists, Mitchell F. Chan and Brad Hindson of Studio F Minus, a Toronto-based collective, have contracted Shawn Tse, a local artist and one of the founding members of aiya!, as their community collaborator. He will meet with community members and ask them to share a meaningful object. Tse will take a three-dimensional scan of your object on the spot and return it to you.
And there is no need to worry about whether your treasure is important enough to be included, says Chan. “The item doesn’t have to be brilliant, as in a Margaret Atwood story,” he says. He mentions pocket lint as a possible humble offering!
Chan provides an example of a scan that he and Tse have already acquired: it is of a trinket that a grandfather bought from a vending machine to keep his grandchildren amused at the dim sum that the family attended every weekend. “The contributor, a member of a local benevolent association, has in this way shared a memory of the hundreds of times his family went to dim sum,” Chan says. A memory of family, small children, and participating in a cultural activity.
The artists are also asking contributors to tell them something about their object in order to create an archive of stories.
Do you have an object you would like to see included in the Invisible Gate project? If so, contact Shawn Tse, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tse will meet you in the Chinatown area to scan your object and interview you. He and/or Mitchell are also visiting the Chinese Elders Mansion, Boyle Street Plaza, and other locations in and around the area.
Note: The Edmonton Arts Council is planning a community event to support this project, probably in late May. Details will be provided on the Boyle McCauley News website.
City of Edmonton’s Public Art Policy
The Percent for Art Program allocates 1% of the eligible construction budget of publicly accessible municipal projects for the acquisition of art. The Edmonton Arts Council directs the program and stewards the City of Edmonton Public Art Collection.
Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.