Pickering is calling on all artists for two public art displays


Published March 21, 2022 at 12:56 pm

If the urge is in you to create a permanent piece of art for the entire community to see, the City of Pickering has just the outlet for those creative juices.

The City is issuing a Call to Artists to create a permanent outdoor public artwork for Esplanade Park in Pickering’s proposed City Centre, as well as a public art for the new Seaton Fire Station #1.

The Esplanade Park art will be featured as part of the Meditation, Mindfulness and Music Park, which will be part of an ambitious development project that will include the development of a vibrant downtown core with a Performing Arts Centre, Youth & Senior’s Centre, and new Central Library. Final designs for the City Centre project are currently underway.

Esplanade Park, located on the north-east corner of Esplanade North and Valley Farm Road, will serve as the primary public green space in the heart of City Centre with use as an events space and for commemorations and celebrations, as well as passive use.

Spirit of Pickering by Geordie Lishman

A public art jury comprised of city staff, practicing arts professionals, and community members will be established for this two-stage competition. This public art piece is intended to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on the community “and our resilience.”

In 2018, the City of Pickering received provincial support to complete Phase 1 enhancements to Esplanade Park through the Main Street Fund, which included the installation of several pieces of permanent public art including four sculptures by artists Geordie Lishman (‘Spirit of Pickering’), and two sculptures by artist Ron Baird (‘Pollinators’). The Phase 1 upgrades were installed in 2020 and included upgraded landscaping and seating in the park.

Phase 2 of the Esplanade Park project will be highlighted by the Meditation, Mindfulness and Music Park to provide a public space for people to practice self-care and reflection. The park will include sensory plantings, accessible seating, upgraded lighting, and playable music instruments. The permanent public artwork will serve as the focal point for this space.

The budget for the public art project is $80,000, which will cover artist fees, all applicable taxes, detailed renderings, materials, technical consultations, fabrication, installation, insurance, equipment, travel to meetings and to the site, and an artist statement for completed work.

Artists are invited to respond to this EOI by submitting a single pdf document labeled with the name of the artist and project, a brief artist statement outlining interest in project, showing relevant experience, ability, and general artistic approach. A maximum of ten images of work can submitted at this stage, as well as audio/visual files via URL.

Email submissions to: [email protected] Submissions must be received by 4 pm, April 1, 2022.

Pickering Pollinators by Ron Baird

The short-listed artists will be notified in April and invited to submit a conceptual design proposal in a PowerPoint presentation. A detailed Terms of Reference project document will be provided to help short-listed artists prepare their proposals. Shortlisted artists will be paid a fee of $1,500.00 (+HST) for their submission of a complete conceptual design proposal and must attend an interview and present their proposals (online presentations may be required) to the public art jury the week of May 30.

The second Call to Artists is for a project to liven up Pickering’s new fire hall in the Seaton community at 1700 Zents Drive at Brock Road.

Thematically, artists are asked to broadly consider the rapidly developing community in Seaton, local nature and wildlife (including birds that have habitats in the area) and the collective experience of community by residents. The artwork will be in front of the entrance to the fire hall, with six metres of space reserved for this artwork and complimentary landscaping.

The fire hall is the first of two proposed for Seaton, which is planned to eventually accommodate 70,000 new residents and 35,000 new jobs.

The budget for the public art is $90,000 CAD and the public art jury will review all submissions and identify a short-list based on artistic excellence and demonstrated or perceived ability to create and execute an “innovative, engaging public artwork that is complementary to the overall design scheme and community context.”

The rules pertaining to artist submissions are the same as for the Esplanade Park public art project, as is the deadline: 4 pm April 1.

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