The Art Finalists - Churchill Avenue Reconstruction

The four finalists for the art installation that will accompany the Churchill Avenue reconstruction were on display tonight. I stopped by and let me just start off by saying I don't know art at all though I like what I like and I dislike what I dislike, like anyone does I suppose. The art is all headed to the Churchill/Byron intersection, south-east corner, except for one that has a second piece on the north-east corner.

I filled out a comment card with positive statements for one finalist. To the other three I say well done, I just have different tastes. I'll start with my favourite.

Ravek Glass Art

  

This installation is four simple panels, 8 feet high, arranged in a W, for Westboro of course. The panels are metal and the glass is custom made to reflect the four seasons. The whole thing is itself on a concrete base in a leaf shape. The artists asked for it to be surrounded by greenery but the City wants it on a zero-maintenance pad. Hopefully that means pavers at least. 

The reason I like this one is the cutouts on the bottom of the panels are 3-feet high, perfect for little kids to find a reason to play in. It will be installed next to a sidewalk. I can picture quite a few weaving walks as kids wander to and from school each day. Art doesn't have to be designed as interactive to be interactive.

Also, and this is subjective, the art doesn't take any effort to interpret. It's simple and stylish.

Water Dinosaur

   

This one isn't actually called Water Dinosaur but that's what I see, so that's its name for me. Also 8 feet high it's meant to represent water. What I find odd about this one is at 8-feet high nobody will ever see the top (first picture). What people will see is more like the last picture (my best approximation of what it look like at 6-feet high). If you squint the guy in the middle picture could even be me staring at this trying to figure out what it is. Water Dinosaur?

Water Column/Pillar

 

This one would be my second choice. It's also meant to represent water. Apologies to the artist but I can't recall the exact details of how. My short term memory is saying "bedrock" and "water" here. Of anything I'm reminded more of the Marble Hydrants on Wellington. Hee hee, maybe change the square pillar to a hydrant and we can just brag about how our hydrants are bigger than their hydrants? As abstract art its fine but I don't get anything from it. I'm not good with subjective things it seems.

Tree and a Tree

  

The fourth finalist is the only one who chose to make use of both sides of the road, one each for the north and south side of Byron (east of Churchill). The tree is fine but if that's what we're going to do I say just plant a Champlain Oak and let its natural majesty impress us. I'm leary that the transparent piece* will eventually get weathered like any acrylic, etc. I'm picturing all those City park signs that get cloudy and/or melted by lighters over the years.

(* update: it occurs to me now that the transparent one will probably be done in the same style as the 'real' tree, just the artist didn't do a full maquette for it.)

Conculsion

So there you have it. I don't get art. Best you see the pictures and make your own judgement!

You can get more information from publicartprogram@ottawa.ca. Perhaps you can fill out a comment card by email too? I forgot to ask the staff who were on hand.