Artists shortlisted for Carlisle Street art project

Steel, stone and murals are just some of the mediums that will be considered as the City shortlists six artists for its latest public art project.

The City of St. Catharines has chosen six highly respected artists from across the province to develop design concepts for the Carlisle Street Public Art Project, a permanent art display on Carlisle Street alongside the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

The six shortlisted artists are: Dam de Nogales, Highgate; David General, Ohsweken; Hadley Howes, Toronto; Melanie MacDonald, St. Catharines; Lily Otasevic, East York; Jerry Rugg, Toronto.

“The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre is more than just a centre for the dramatic arts – it is a cultural hub in St. Catharines,” said Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines. “I look forward to the designs that the six shortlisted artists submit for the Carlisle Street Public Art Project and I am happy that our government was able to play a role in making the project possible.”

The project is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage Canada 150 Program as a legacy component of Celebration of Nations. The project is also funded through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre’s public art reserve.

“We have a high calibre of talent on our shortlist and we’re confident their creative expertise will offer exciting design options for the site,” says Rebecca Cann, the City’s cultural services supervisor. “The goal of this project is to commission an engaging work of contemporary art for the downtown that contributes to the identity and character of the area.”

Earlier this year, the City called out to Canadian and Indigenous artists and creative teams interested in developing ideas for this section of Carlisle Street. The history of the site is to be considered within the design, including the use of St. Paul Street by Niagara’s First Peoples, the role of the second Welland Canal and as a past and present venue for theatre. Artists are being asked to explore the themes of storied lands, meeting place and harmony within the context of performing and expressive arts.

A panel will review submissions and recommend one artwork for the City to commission. The selected design will be unveiled this winter. The successful artist will work with a budget of $85,000 to design, fabricate and install the work of art. The completed artwork will become part of the City’s Civic Art Collection.

Celebration of Nations was created as an Indigenous arts gathering to celebrate the diversity, creativity and resilience of Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. The first annual gathering took place in September 2017. Celebration of Nations will continue as part of a long-term vision of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, Kakekalanicks and the City of St. Catharines to build on the philosophy of the Two Row Wampum that promotes all Nations walking together, in parallel, with respect, compassion and understanding to cultivate an inclusive community for a shared future.

Source – City of St. Catharines press release

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