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Wild Life

Brandon Vickerd

Two pedestrian-scale bronze sculptures

Standing sculpture: 1.9 m high x .6m wide; Seated sculpture: 1.4m high x .6m wide

300 lbs. each

Curb extensions on west side of Algoma Street South between Bay Street and Cornwall Avenue

Wild Life Close up Wild Life Close up

Sculptures at artist's studio pre-installation. 

Wild Life is the most recent addition to the City of Thunder Bay's Public Art collection, a set of two pedestrian scale sculptures by artist Brandon Vickerd. Wild Life was installed on two curb extensions ("bumpouts") on Algoma Street South this past August as part of streetscape improvements for this section of the May-Memorial-Algoma Image Route. One sculpture is featured standing, while the other is seated on a public bench.

The sculptures depict animal species native to the Thunder Bay area such as deer, black bears, squirrels, coyotes, and birds. Pre-existing taxidermy was used to create moulds for casting the bronze, resulting in the highly accurate detail of the animal figures. 

"Humorously referencing cartoon clichés, these sculptures invite a thoughtful reflection on our relationship to nature. Wild Life challenges viewers' perceptions by making a seemingly mundane scene extraordinary; your average loiterer in jeans and an overcoat morphing into a conglomeration of animals that is both shocking and intriguing."

-Brandon Vickerd, artist

Wild Life was selected through an open competition administered by the City of Thunder Bay Public Art Program. Public input was considered in both creating the competition and making the final selection from the proposals that were received. Input was sought from attendees at events in the Bay & Algoma neighbourhood, area businesses, children participating in the City's Playgrounds Program, and comments through the City website and Facebook pages. The custom sculptures, created specifically for their new home, are the final result.

The curb extension beautification project was administered by the City of Thunder Bay's Public Art Committee and Recreation & Culture Division and funded by the Clean, Green & Beautiful Committee Emerging Projects Fund. The total cost paid of the two sculptures is $112,000, which includes all aspects of the work such as artist fees, equipment, materials, insurance, structural engineering, foundations and anchoring systems, site preparation, fabrication, delivery, and installation.

To learn more about how the City acquires public art, visit our Public Art Frequently Asked Questions page.