Public art is interwoven throughout our communities to create a lasting impact to both visitors and residents. It is used to enrich our streetscapes and is a powerful tool that can make a space exciting by creating new experiences.
With multi-functionality, spaces with public art can encourage people to connect with their neighbours and engage with their environment. Situating public art near local businesses can also help attract attention and in turn, help the economy.
Similarly, public art can boost your mood and inspire creativity. It’s a way for artists to share stories, history or to raise awareness. Additionally, public art enhances our communities by serving as distinctive landmarks to cultivate their identity.
Each of our highlighted community art pieces encompass a variety of these benefits.
Home Bear- Qualico headquarters
The Home Bear is a prominent fixture at Qualico’s headquarters here in Winnipeg and was originally a part of the Bears on Broadway campaign that commemorated the 75th Anniversary of CancerCare Manitoba. Created by local artist Hubert Theroux, Home Bear was crafted with pre-cast concrete and illustrated with graffiti-resistant paint.
Its markings were originally inspired by Brian Hastings, who was Qualico’s second generation of family-owned leadership. Brian and his wife Ruth chose the final images that are displayed on Home Bear, showcasing homes throughout the history of Manitoba, starting with the sod house.
Sky Spirit – Sage Creek
Sky spirit, also known as the Aurora, is a striking feature located in Sage Creek’s Village Centre plaza. Designed by local artist Darren Sakwi, this contemporary piece is constructed of stainless steel and incorporates rotating LED lights that bounce off of the ribbon-like structure. Creating a floating appearance – similar to the aurora borealis! By landscaping Sky Spirit’s surrounding area with seating, a plaza was developed to provide a gathering opportunity for special events.
Running Bison and the Rubbing Stone - RidgeWood West
Running Bison and the Rubbing Stone is an impressive traffic circle sculpture located at the intersection of Couture Crescent and Charleswood Road. Created by local artists David MacNair and Barry Bonham, the sculpture depicts five bison, made of corten steel and a granite rubbing stone that is over 28,000 pounds.
The inspiration derives from the bison that once roamed freely across the prairies and the boulders they would rub against to help remove their winter coats. The steel and rivets used in this sculpture are a representation of the trains that regularly travel across our province.
Entry feature – Oak Bluff West
Oak Bluff West’s grand entrance into the community is a large wall with a stone finish that showcases a mounted stainless steel plate with the Oak Bluff West logo. This entrance feature wraps around Horizon Drive and Provincial Trunk Highway 3 to create a magnificent landmark.
Art meets education – Taylor Farm
Information nodes will be located in key areas of our newest community, Taylor Farm to tell the story of John Taylor, a local man whose life had an incredible impact on the surrounding area over the past century. They will consist of either a viewshed to display Taylor Farm’s beautiful landscapes such as the basswood forest and naturalized wetlands, or in the form of a landscaped sitting area.
Each node will provide a stainless steel information panel that will discuss aspects of John Taylor’s life. These panels will be framed in fir timbers and include a stainless steel mesh backing to allow vines to grow behind the information; mixing history and the present into one element. Currently there is one node in Taylor Farm in the form of an informational panel.
Next time you are out for a walk, whether it is in one of our communities, downtown or your own neighbourhood, take a moment to look around. Our city and province is full of beautiful public art that is there for us to enjoy.