Public Art in the Works
Sometimes a construction site is just a construction site, but sometimes it could be the foundation for an exciting new artwork coming your way. The Public Art Program is busy commissioning artists and fabricating works for neighbourhoods across the city! Keep your ear to the ground for these exciting new projects in development:
Homage to the Winnipeg General Strike in Pantages Plaza
Bernie Miller and Noam Gonick conceived of Bloody Saturday before beloved Winnipeg artist Bernie Miller passed away suddenly in the fall of 2017. Noam Gonick continues to work to realize their shared vision for the artwork, which will be installed in the summer of 2019 for the 100th Anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike.
This project is supported in part by the Government of Canada, the Winnipeg Foundation, Centre Venture, IATSE 856, the Amalgamated Transit Union, and Manitoba’s unions.
Renewal of the Cornish Library, led by Public City Architecture, is being undertaken with great care to preserve the character of the building within its established historic neighbourhood, while addressing the community’s expressed desire for improved access and more usable spaces. A new glass reading room will overlook the river and feature a whimsical kinetic artwork by local artist Michael Dumontier.
Southwest Rapid Transit
Seven artists/teams are creating artworks for the new Southwest Rapid Transitway being built in the Fort Garry region of Winnipeg.
Métis artist Ian August’s Rooster Town Kettle recalls stories of warmth and sharing from the history of the Rooster Town community: "When there was a knock at the door the immediate response was to shout, ‘come in there’s room’ while jumping up to put the kettle on for tea.” The work also address how a population of 500 people living on the fringe of a Canadian city could have such unacceptable access to clean water. An issue that is still relevant today to so many Canadians on reserves.
Jeanette Johns' artwork responds to the history of collective movement in Winnipeg and innovations in technology that came about through a unique mix of entrepreneurial spirit and necessity, specifically recalling the Red River ox cart and Winnipeg's streetcar system.
ROW ROW ROW by Public City Architecture + Urban Ink was inspired by the seigneurial lot system that was used to divide settled land in Fort Garry, and throughout Winnipeg, into long, narrow properties running from the river and into the adjacent prairies.
Bill Burns’ Salt Fat Sugar & Your Water Is Safe considers food, animals, and the farm in relation to the commons, trade, and spiritual traditions. It is especially interested in invoking a regard to basic elements of survival such as water, salt, fat, and sugar. With this artwork, Burns sheds light on a set of historical, social, and economic relations within advanced industrialism that often go unnoticed.
テンサイ (TENSAI) by Kelty McKinnon and Cindy Mochizuki explores the relationship between the Sugar Beet and Japanese Canadian history. This artwork site is adjacent to the historic Manitoba Sugar Company factory building and will call into question the narratives that are ‘unseen’ to the public eye, such as the history of 4,000 of the 22,000 Japanese Canadians that were stripped of their rights and interned during WWII.
(Un)Still Life with Spoked Wheels by Warren Carther was envisioned through research of the historical transportation routes from Winnipeg to the U.S. and the incredible ingenuity of the Red River Cart. Designed by the Métis people, the Red River Cart was the first mode of transportation used in the fur trade to take goods south.
Tiffany Shaw-Collinge explores the efforts of land rights for Métis people. One part of the artwork highlights the Red River region around 1870 and cartographies around harvesting hay, berry picking, hunting, and sugaring to discuss the long-standing use and occupancy of the Métis people. The other part focuses on Métis Scrip that was given out to Métis people throughout the Métis homeland and points to a critical chapter in how land rights were given to Métis people after 1885 and the Government’s advancement of extinguishing Aboriginal Title for the Métis.
Three shortlisted artists are busy developing in depth proposals to create a permanent artwork on the sloped area southeast of the new Waverley Underpass.
WITH ART & Youth WITH ART community public art program
Each year WAC matches professional artists with community groups to work on community identity, issues, and shared goals through the development of a public art project. The projects unfold in two phases as the artists consult with community members to determine the goals of the project. In the second phase, the artwork is created in collaboration with the community. Applications from community groups and artists are sought in January each year.
Projects in production:
- Filmmaker Randy Guest is exploring the breadth of palliative experiences through film with Palliative Manitoba
- Young adults with social and intellectual disabilities at G.R.O.W. are creating music about friendship, new experiences and change with musician Lindsey White
- Filmmaker Jim Agapito is mentoring youth in the creation of a series of short films about their experiences with Ndinawe
- Playwright Ellen Peterson is creating a radio-drama-style series with youth participants based on their experiences at Siloam Mission
Projects in Development:
- Ceramic artist Jennie O’Keefe with 17 Wing Personnel Support Services
- Interdisciplinary artist Natasha Halayda with Fort Whyte Farms (youth)
- Mosaic artist Ursula Neufeld with Luxton School (youth)
- Multidisciplinary artist Val Vint with John Howard Society
- Writer Sharon Chisvin with Winnipeg Trails Association
Community Groups currently being matched with artists:
- Manitoba Wheelchair Sports (youth)