Tall sculpture for library
20-foot sculpture for library parkette evokes image of book cover twisting in the wind
A new 20-foot-tall sculpture, made of Corten steel and designed to evoke a book cover twisting in the wind, will soon be installed in the new parkette outside the Peterborough Public Library.
Toronto architect Patrick Li designed the piece, called Your Story. It was selected by a volunteer jury from 20 submissions.
The selection was approved Thursday night by the city’s arts, culture and heritage advisory committee at a meeting at the community services offices on Wolfe St.
The piece will be installed at the southwest corner of Aylmer and Simcoe streets in what will soon be a landscaped parkette.
Both the parkette and the sculpture are expected done by autumn.
The sculpture will feature undulating columns that are meant to bring to mind the pages or cover of a book caught in the wind.
“It responds to the site beautifully,” said city public art coordinator Wendy Trusler at the meeting.
Coun. Lesley Parnell, a member of the arts, culture and heritage advisory committee, said she thinks it will look terrific lit up at night.
“With uplighting – and really cool shadows – it will be gorgeous,” she said.
Li, 44, spent the early part of his life in Hong Kong before going to university first in Northern Ireland and later in Calgary.
He later studied architecture at the University of Toronto. Li has worked for architectural firms such as Sturgess Architecture in Calgary, Zeidler Architects in Toronto and Kohn Pederson and Fox in New York City.
The city put out a call for submissions in the summer. Artists from all across Ontario were invited to offer a design.
Trusler said the jury narrowed down the 20 submissions to a shortlist of three.
The shortlisted artists were asked to come to Peterborough to give a presentation to the jury in December, whereupon Li’s design was chosen.
The budget for the sculpture is $50,000; the city and local law firm LLF are sharing the cost.
In 2016, the city bought two properties next door to the library to leave room for future expansion (perhaps 20 years from now).
In the meantime, council decided to create a parkette and add accessible parking for the library on the corner of Aylmer and Simcoe St.
City staff envisioned a piece of public art in the parkette; they budgeted $30,000 for that.
But later, staff determined that wouldn’t be enough: they’d need $50,000 for a piece of art.
LLF then offered the additional $20,000 for the artwork, plus $80,000 more to be paid over the next 19 years to help maintain the parkette.
In exchange, LLF will name the park. The name will stick for 20 years before LLF has the option to renew the arrangement for another decade.
But the parkette won’t be named LLF Park. The name, which has yet to be announced, will suit the parkette and take into consideration the artwork, the library and LLF’s role in the community.
Trusler said the new name is expected to be unveiled to the public soon.
A model of the sculpture called Your Story, by architect Patrick Li.
The city’s arts, culture and heritage advisory committee approved a jury’s selection for a sculpture that will be created and installed on the southwest corner of Aylmer and Simcoe St., outside the library (model seen here). The sculpture is by Toronto architect Patrick Li. Left to right are advisory committee members Coun. Lesley Parnell, Dirk Verhulst, Dennis Carter-Edwards and city public art co-ordinator Wendy Trusler.