It’s called The Bus Stand, and sits in colourful splendour on Main Street in NORTH ADAMS, Massachusetts. Designed by visiting artist VICTORIA PALERMO and Kidspace at MASSMoCA, this public artwork shows what can be done with some coloured glass and aluminum.
International art star, ZHANG HUAN, has brought some stainless steel pizzazz to staid University Avenue, north of Adelaide Street. His $5 million sculpture, ‘Rising’, was unveiled recently, as part of Shangri-La Toronto‘s commitment to improving our city’s artscape.
The sculpture, now behind a protective fence, will eventually sit in a large reflecting pool. Stainless steel birds flutter in and around several root-like arches. More birds will be added in the near future. The flashy design is raising eyebrows amongst downtown pedestrians and motorists.
You can see more of ZHANG HUAN’s work at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West. An exhibition titled ‘Ash Paintings and Memory Doors’ has opened there. As well, the Canadian Opera Company is staging the artist’s version of Handel’s ‘Semele’ until May 26.
<PHOTO ABOVE by Ross Winter – sculpture at 1881 Heritage, HONG KONG, Zhan Huan, 2011>
Inspired by the graffiti paintings of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the subway chalk drawings of Keith Haring, TORONTO City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has been working behind the scenes to revolutionize the downtown streetscape.
The Ward 27 Councillor has convinced one major developer – Diamond Corporation – to spruce up hoardings around construction sites and get some art up there. Diamond contacted a children’s arts group, offering to supply materials, and the kids (ages 6-13) jumped at the chance. The result – a massive mural at the corner of Wellesley Street East and Sherbourne, and a big writeup with pictures in the Weekend Star.
Ms Wong-Tam: “For a city so rich in arts and culture, I’m always surprised to see how little there is in terms of public art. And when you have an entire block wrapped in hoarding board, sometimes for three, five, seven years, well, it’s done absolutely nothing to inform me as a resident; there’s no interaction.
“The construction hoarding is an excellent venue, otherwise what do we look at? Post no bills signs? Public art adds a poetic note to our every day; it draws our attention to things that people might otherwise overlook. I’m already in talks with another builder at Yonge and Bloor. This is only the beginning.”