Artists: Breanna Bakkelund, Kelly Greer, Hannah Guthrie, Caroline Kajorinne, Sam Shahsahabi
As a result of the City's Clean, Green & Beautiful Policy and the Prince Arthur's Landing Waterfront Development, the amount and scope of public art opportunities in the City has rapidly increased. Feedback from the local artist comunity supported the need to focus on public art and/or the business aspects of art production through formal education.
Representatives from the City’s Public Art Committee and the Recreation & Culture Division approached Lakehead University to develop a pilot public art course available to credit students and non-credit local artists. The course ran from July 5th to August 16th, 2010. Sam Shahsahabi, Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing, developed a course outline focusing on the history of public art, audience considerations, artistic concept visualization, proposal development, studio work, safe practices, and the effects of a neighbourhood on a site.
Cultural Services & Events staff and members of the Public Art Committee gave a presentation on the City's public art process and program and reviewed the individual projects to provide feedback and suggestions prior to the artwork's installation.
Materials funding was provided by the City's Development Services Department for renewal activities in the South Core, and use of the installation site was donated by Mr. Ahsanul Habib of Habib Architects. The former CIBC heritage property at 409 Victoria Avenue East inspired the students to develop a garden / growth / renewal theme to guide their projects.
The quality, variation, and scale of artwork produced is an example of how public art and local artists can contribute to the beautification of Thunder Bay and the animation of the neighbourhood.
Public art brings people together, has the potential to change communities, and instills a positive energy and a sense of pride. Hannah is extremely excited to be a part of a new and bright future for Thunder Bay.
- Hannah Guthrie
Working in public spaces provides a challenging, exciting and new approach to art. [The] intent of our art exhibition is to recreate for the community, a vital public space to be enjoyed once again. - Kelly Greer