REACH­ING NEW LEVEL WITH ‘EPIC’ ART­WORK

Lo­cals se­lected as mu­ral mak­ers for Court­yard 33 in Marda Loop

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Front Page - CINDY STEPHEN

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

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