REACHING NEW LEVEL WITH ‘EPIC’ ARTWORK
Locals selected as mural makers for Courtyard 33 in Marda Loop
Two local artists have been selected to paint five-storey-high murals on the Courtyard 33 building by avant-garde Calgary condo builder, Rndsqr.
After a public contest conducted by Rndsqr, a field of 30 entries was narrowed to just four finalists.
The winners were chosen by a panel of seven notable judges who picked Cassie Suche, a multidisciplinary visual artist and the creative tandem of Daniel Kirk and Katie Green. They beat out semifinalists Ben Arcega of Kelowna and Kalum Teke Dan, an Indigenous artist from Calgary.
Rndsqr founder Alkarim Devani, who runs the company with his brother, wanted to engage the public in selecting the mural makers.
A contest was held from December 2018 to August 2019, and art submissions were displayed in businesses throughout Marda Loop. The public was invited to weigh in and more than 5,000 ballots were cast.
“Public art is important and with CY33, I just didn’t want to put a statue in front of the building. I wanted to engage the art community and have art integral to the design of the building, not as an afterthought,” he says. “Every single submission we had was pretty epic, but it was super cool to see the community at large get involved.”
When Rndsqr engaged Winnipeg’s 546 8796 Architecture to design CY33, Devani worked with founding partner Johanna Hurme to ensure the building would have a large, blank canvas for a mural or two. The dynamic submissions by Suche and the Kirk/Green team, who all have experience with large scale mural painting, will have the impact Devani is hoping for.
Calgary blogger and social media personality Mike Morrison helped judge the final submissions. As a supporter of public art, such as this summer’s Beltline Urban Mural Project which produced 16 new murals, Morrison has been vocal about creating more colourful, vibrant and welcoming places in Calgary.
“I love Wonderland, the giant head in front of the Bow Building,” says Morrison, noting his favourite art in Calgary. “I’m not necessarily an art connoisseur, but I consider myself part of the general public. Art adds diversity and with social media, people are spreading photos around the world, telling a different story about Calgary through public art. I think people will pull over and take photos of the art on this building.”
Morrison follows Devani’s work and thinks the huge murals on CY33 will change things up in Marda Loop.
“A building is so much more than a box and people moving in and out. If you look at the library, it’s changed that whole area and how people interact with the East Village. I think this building will do that, too.”
CY33 is scheduled for completion in 2021.
Cassie Suche’s artwork was a winner in Rndsqr’s Courtyard 33 public art contest for its Calgary condo building. CASSIE SUCHE
Katie Green and Daniel Kirk’s art was also a winner in the contest to paint five-storey murals. KaTIE GREEN AND DANIEL KIRK
An artist’s rendering of the Courtyard 33 building by Rndsqr in Marda Loop. RNDSQR