Re­gion to com­mis­sion new pub­lic art for Ion stop af­ter one piece can­celled

Waterloo Region Record - - Local - JO­HANNA WEIDNER jwei­d­ner@there­cord.com Twit­ter: @Wei­d­nerRecord

WATER­LOO RE­GION — New art­work needs to be se­lected for an Ion sta­tion be­cause one piece can’t be com­pleted.

“There was a lot of ex­cite­ment around that piece, for sure,” said He­len Chimirri-Rus­sell, direc­tor of cul­tural ser­vices for the re­gion.

Re­gional coun­cil ap­proved the com­mis­sion­ing of 10 works of pub­lic art along the Ion light rail cor­ri­dor in 2017.

The to­tal bud­get for Ion art­works is $903,500, with about $92,000 al­lo­cated for each piece.

Now they’re on the hunt for a new piece to re­place “The Net­work,” one of two de­signs cho­sen for the Re­search and Tech­nol­ogy stop in north Water­loo.

Artist Ken Hall had planned “The Net­work” as a large, in­ter­ac­tive in­stal­la­tion with a pro­grammed net­work of lights and in­tri­cate struc­tural con­nec­tions.

Chimirri-Rus­sell said the tim­ing of the in­stal­la­tion was a chal­lenge on both sides. The re­gion needs to co-or­di­nate the art project with GrandLinq, the con­sor­tium build­ing the light rail sys­tem, and Ke­o­lis, the com­pany that will op­er­ate and main­tain it.

It also needs to care­fully con­sider safety around the trains that are now in the test­ing phase along the full length of the line.

The other art­work de­signed for the stop is “The Pas­sen­ger” by Bran­don Vick­erd. It will be in­stalled.

It is a bronze-cast statue of a per­son wait­ing for tran­sit with a sur­real twist that in­cor­po­rates lo­cal fauna.

The re­gion will work with the pub­lic art ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee on how to com­mis­sion new art­work for the Water­loo stop.

There will be pa­ram­e­ters on the call for pro­pos­als to fit with the vi­sion for an im­pres­sive piece at the “gate­way” stop.

This is the largest pub­lic-art in­stal­la­tion project for the re­gion with a lot of mov­ing pieces in­clud­ing com­mu­nity in­put to en­sure the art­work is mean­ing­ful to each lo­ca­tion.

“We’re pleased with the progress we’re mak­ing,” Chimirri-Rus­sell said.

“And we’re ex­cited to see where it takes us next.”

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