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