905 art in­stal­la­tion to in­spire city build­ing

Richmond Hill Post - - News -

As you may have heard, the City of Vaughan is at­tempt­ing to do some­thing rel­a­tively novel in ur­ban de­sign cir­cles: en­gi­neer a down­town core from scratch in a sprawl­ing metropoli­tan area.

There are cur­rently mul­ti­ple condo tow­ers go­ing up and a TTC sub­way sta­tion with High­way 7 rapid tran­sit con­nec­tions tar­get­ing an end of 2017 launch as part of the Toronto-York Spad­ina Sub­way Ex­ten­sion pro­ject.

The down­town area in ques­tion is called the Vaughan Metropoli­tan Cen­tre ( VMC). It is a 179-hectare site lo­cated near where High­way 7 crosses with High­way 400. One of the ini­tia­tives the city is cur­rently un­der­tak­ing to pub­li­cize the multi-pur­pose ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment is an on­go­ing art ex­hibit at Vaughan city hall called In­spired Cities.

The in­ten­tion is to steer think­ing about the VMC away from just be­ing a plan­ner’s con­cept and put peo­ple in mind of a vi­tal, en­er­getic ur­ban com­mu­nity on the as­cent. They want peo­ple to start think­ing ar­tis­ti­cally about how to build an en­gag­ing vis­ual space.

“The In­spired Cities ex­hibit was re­ally de­signed to show the cat­alytic role that art can play in place­mak­ing and city build­ing,” said Sharon Gaum-Kuchar, the ex­hibit’s cu­ra­tor.

VMC com­mis­sioned 19 works from over 150 sub­mis­sions that best ex­plore the ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment in two-di­men­sional me­dia.

Gaum-Kuchar said that most of the works opted to steer away from re­al­ism.

“It was very broad and di­verse in­ter­pre­ta­tion. Most of it was quite ab­stract. It was a very sym­bolic vo­cab­u­lary,” she said.

Many of the paint­ings use dy­namic colours to show off the vi­brancy of ur­ban liv­ing, but there are also photo-re­al­is­tic in­ter­pre­ta­tions of ar­chi­tec­ture as well.

Of the 19 works on dis­play, 12 of them are from GTA artists and six come from painters based in the 905.

You can see the work un­til April 18 at Atrium Gallery in Vaughan city hall, and while there, sub­mit your vote for the Peo­ple’s Choice Award. It will be an­nounced at the end of the ex­hibit’s run.

L–R: Rina Gottesman’s ‘City Speak’; Lori Comer­ford’s ‘In­vis­i­ble City’; Suzanne Metz’s ‘Cityscape’

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