I love public art, love interacting with it, love how it adds to the environment. I have been involved in creating public art in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba over the years.
I designed the signs coming into Portage la Prairie.This depicts the AMAZING sunrises and sunsets we enjoy in Portage la Prairie, and the dancing wheat fields. The sign is all metal, every head of wheat was cut out and later welded together, it was quite a sight to see when it was all silver and polished. Then it went to a farm implement dealer manufacturer who painted it as they do farm machinery, electrify the paint so that it is attracted to the metal, and binds with it, so it is very permanent and no surface is missed. It should last a very long time. So nice that it is set off with wonderful landscaping as well.
I am also very involved in the ArtSmart Program here in Portage la Prairie. We were very fortunate to have the McConnell Foundation, take Portage la Prairie on as a pilot city to integrate art back into school curriculum, and to try and have artists viewed as a valuable part of our communities whom should be paid for the expertise, not just expected to volunteer it.
When the McConnell Foundation decided it was time to wean us from their funding, it was decided we need art to have more exposure so we started coming up with art for the community, public art projects, made by students.Elementary students created paving stones of Manitoba Wild flowers to be installed at the base of 4 pillars (the pillars were for the 4 middle year schools). This was installed at our cities high school, after we amalgamated 2 into one, this is THE highs school, where all students will come. The elementary students who made these will one day be a part of this high school and they already have a piece of themselves there.
With the Manitoba Wild flowers at the base, created by our elementary students the middle years students then started on the 4 pillars. The feeder schools to the high school, each pillar a representation of the school they came from.
Each middle year school has it’s own individuality and that showed in their designs. The students picked the images they thought would best represent their school. They worked with an artist to organize the images they came up with so they would fit the format around the pillar. They helped cut the glass and laid it out. The artists then attached them to the pillars.
A detail on the LaVerendrye Pillar