City communications department looking for pencils so they can get press releases out on time. Public art announcement due soon.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  June 6th , 2012  There is going to be some public art on the plaza at the front of the Performing Arts Centre at the intersection of Locus and Elgin – and the artist chosen will, we understand, come from either, Montreal, Maine or New Brunswick – according to sources who should know.

Deadline for first round consideration closed mid-April. Submissions were received from artists at the international, national, provincial and regional as well as local levels.  The jury that is doing the selection has narrowed their choices down to three artists who have been asked to submit their drawings.  No date on just when those drawings and the backgrounds on these artists will be made public.  The city’s communications department appears to have run short of pencils and isn’t moving much copy these days.

Burlington insurance company owner Dan Laurie very generously put up a large part of the cost of the art work and he too is looking forward to a public announcement.

The public art that is being chosen for the plaza in front of the Performing Arts Centre will get installed before the pier opens. With the pier however we know who is doing the work - can`t say the same for the public art.

The information we have is that each of the artists has made a major contribution to public art in their communities and that whichever artist Burlington chooses we can expect to see some very good public art in front of a building that will serve as a fine platform.

Burlington is a little on the timid and conservative side of things when it comes to public displays.  We are told that at least two of the artists are known to “stretch the envelope” and so we just might see something that will make amends for the unfortunate placement of the very delightful “orchids” on Upper Middle Road west of Appleby Line.

Our Burlington thought the "orchids"would have looked great in front of the Performing Arts Centre but a jury of some very qualified people think otherwise and have narrowed the choice down to three people.

You can be forgiven if you’ve never seen the work – it sits at the bottom of a grade separation on a road that has quite a bit of traffic.  Nice art though and at some point the city might find the right location for the orchids.

City hall, which is handling the communications on the art that will go in front of the Performing Arts Centre appears to be sitting on the file and not saying a word.

The city hired Cobalt Connects to oversee the art selection  jury and based on what little we know they have been doing a good job.  The number of submissions was quite a bit higher than expected amd we are told that the quality was superb.

The art that eventually gets installed will be seen by Burlingtonians for a long long time.  Given that public money is being used to pay for a large part of the art – it would be nice if the public could be told a little bit more about who the jury is looking at considering.  Burlington is still suffering from the information deficit identified in the Shape Burlington report.





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