Juxtaposed at Civic Centre atrium

Thursday, Feb 05, 2015 10:08 am

By: Tanya Foubert

Canmore historian, photographer and writer Rob Alexander isn’t necessarily known for doing things the easy way and the same appears to be true of his latest exhibition at the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre.

Planned to be part of the 2015 Exposure Photography Festival, the opening fundraiser and exhibit for the museum was in jeopardy of not happening at all due to last minute space issues.

The museum is currently working on developing archive space at a commercial bay it acquired last year. It is a big improvement and great news for the organization, which didn’t have appropriate archive space for its collection.

However, while construction is undertaken, the archives are being stored at the museum, meaning there was no space to display Alexander’s photography exhibit.

But with the right Canmore “can do” attitude, the museum has arranged to display the exhibit in the Civic Centre atrium for the month of February.

Canmore Juxtaposed: An Exhibition of Blended Photography takes archival photos of Canmore and blends them with photos Alexander took from the same spot in the present.

“I think what is exciting about this one is the content and the approach,” he said. “Not just that historical end of it, but more so the reaction of people when they see these images.

“Once they realize what is going on, people get really excited about it. It is nice to see that reaction because people are engaging with Canmore history in a surprising way.”

It was a challenge to get the angle and positioning just right in order to make the photos blend in a seamless way, but once achieved there is a real dynamic interaction by the viewer with a place at two different times.

The exhibition is also a fundraiser for the museum – all proceeds and copyright for the work will belong to the non-profit local organization and will be used to continue fundraising into the future.

Alexander said after all the support the museum has shown him in his career it is a way to support its work as well.

“It was a way to do this project, which I really wanted to do, but have a greater benefit to the museum,” he said.

All images will be available for purchase at the event and in the gift shop in a variety of sizes and on canvas as well.

The opening reception takes place Saturday (Feb. 7) from 7-9 p.m. at the Civic Centre and the exhibit remains on display through Exposure. It will then return in spring to Elevation Place.


Utility boxes transformed into works of art

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 06:00 am

By: Cole Carruthers

Canmore’s newest public art installations were celebrated Friday evening (Aug. 22) at the Town’s civic centre, where the local works of art now covering 14 Fortis utility boxes throughout Canmore were on display with the artists themselves attending the reception.

Provided through the Town’s Public Art Program and a new partnership with Fortis, seven local artists had the opportunity to transform utility boxes into wrapped artwork that would contribute to the vitality and attractiveness of the town’s environment.

“We’re recognizing our new partner Fortis, our seven artists and 14 new, amazing utility boxes and that’s why we’re here tonight,” said Town of Canmore Arts and Events Supervisor Chris Bartolomie.

“We had seen some utility boxes in Calgary and were quite intrigued with the project, but in Calgary they had actually painted the boxes so we were thinking of doing that here as well ... and we met with them (Fortis) and a great partnership was formed and we did wraps of boxes instead of painting.

“We found that 3M had a product out that ... is such a non-porous surface that you really couldn’t spray paint or write anything on there that you could easily wipe off and also came with a 10 year UV coated protection that would last very well in weather,” said FortisAlberta communications advisor Mona Bartsoff.

Early this year, the Canmore Public Art Committee requested proposals from local artists for the program. Seven proposals were accepted, with the intention of each piece of artwork being wrapped on two utility boxes. The artists include Rob Alexander, Bigoudi, Shirley Chinneck, Patti Dyment, Joe Martin, Chrissy Nickerson and Dana Roman.

“I loved the project, I really did and I love that what they chose is so diversified, and it’s great that each design is in two places,” Chinneck said. “I went and looked at the site (Railway Avenue, in front of Can-Bow Motors) and I thought, Maybe it would be nice to have flowers to greet people coming into town.”

“I feel very fortunate to be included in the project and the public art process and I think the wrapping of the utility boxes is a very easy way to engage the public in art,” Nickerson said. “I’m happy that it was all local Canmore artists that took part in it ... I would recommend any public art project to try the utility box project one year or another because I think it’s very non-obtrusive and it’s non argumentative because the boxes are already there.”

The art program committee worked with Fortis to identify the locations used, with the intention that some boxes be located in the downtown core, and others in outlying areas of town, with Fortis producing the wraps and installing them.

Visit, www.canmore.ca/About-Canmore/Arts-and-Culture/Town-of-Canmore-Public-Art-Program.html for more information on Canmore’s Public Art Program.

Artists and location of utility boxes, include:

Rob Alexander: Railway Avenue (in front of RBC) and entrance to the Nordic Centre

Bigoudi: Railway Avenue (beside Starbucks) and the intersection of Bow Valley Trail and Benchlands Trail

Shirley Chinneck: Railway Avenue (in front of Can-Bow Motors) and the intersection of Three Sisters Parkway and Cairns on the Bow

Patti Dyment: Railway Avenue (in front of Shoppers Drug Mart) and Benchlands Trail (near the Iron Goat)

Joe Martin: Railway Avenue (in front of the Rose and Crown) and the intersection of Three Sisters Parkway and Fitzerald Rise

Chrissy Nickerson: Railway Avenue (near Fire Hall) and Centennial Park

Dana Roman: in front of the Seniors Centre and in the parking lot behind Tourism Canmore.

 

 

 

Canmore debuts utility box art

A Canmore utility box featuring artwork by Rob Alexander is one of 14 boxes that the Town of Canmore and Fortis Alberta have wrapped with work by local artists. The project not only seeks to beautify the town, but also to discourage graffiti. Justin Parsons/ Crag & Canyon/ QMI Agency

A Canmore utility box featuring artwork by Rob Alexander is one of 14 boxes that the Town of Canmore and Fortis Alberta have wrapped with work by local artists. The project not only seeks to beautify the town, but also to discourage graffiti. Justin Parsons/ Crag & Canyon/ QMI Agency

By Justin Parsons, Bow Valley Crag & Canyon

Thursday, August 21, 2014 9:21:24 MDT AM

A Canmore utility box featuring artwork by Rob Alexander is one of 14 boxes that the Town of Canmore and Fortis Alberta have wrapped with work by local artists. The project not only seeks to beautify the town, but also to discourage graffiti. Justin Parsons/ Crag & Canyon/ QMI Agency

The streets of Canmore are looking a little brighter since a community art project to decorate the town’s utility boxes came to fruition earlier this month.

Fourteen Fortis utility boxes throughout the town have been adorned with art produced by local artists with two goals in mind: beautifying the town and preventing graffiti.

Through a partnership program with Fortis Alberta, specialized wraps were produced from the works of seven Canmore artists, with each artwork used twice, once in the downtown area, and repeated on boxes in outlying areas of town. The town finished applying the wraps Thursday, Aug. 7.

Each piece of art, produced by Canmore artists Rob Alexander, Bigoudi, Shirley Chinneck, Patti Dyment, Joe Martin, Chrissy Nickerson and Dana Roman, is unique in its own right, but Town of Canmore supervisor of arts and events Chris Bartolomie said there are a handful of aspects that tie them together.

“We wanted it to have a Canmore feel to it. We had a list of criteria, that it needed to be appropriate to Canmore, that it needed to have something that addressed either the culture of our people or nature, something relevant to here,” she said.

The pieces of art are also a joint effort on behalf of the town and Fortis to keep graffiti off utility boxes, which are a popular target for taggers.

“Originally we were talking about graffiti mitigation programs and what we could do to address ugly green boxes that had graffiti on them. I was in Calgary at a public arts summit and I had seen that they had painted their utility boxes. We thought that was a great idea and we realized that in other communities they were starting to do that as well,” said Bartolomie.

“We haven’t had any (graffiti) issues so far. When we were looking at the Calgary boxes, they had done 100 boxes and they had one that had been tagged. That’s a 99 per cent success rate in Calgary, where I’m sure graffiti is more prevalent than here in Canmore. Historically in other communities, they’ve had great success doing this.”

Bartolomie added that the town is looking into having traffic light switch boxes painted, and is also hoping to continue partnering with Fortis in order to wrap more large utility boxes, though many other communities are vying for a similar partnership through the Fortis program.

An opening reception celebrating the installation of the art will take place on Friday at the Canmore Civic Centre, and will feature the artists as well as walking tours of at 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.