Butterflies everywhere with new public art

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CARFAC conference coming

According to folksy wisdom, the first anniversary means a gift of paper, 13 is lace and 27 should be a sculpture. The City of St. Albert decided that the 35th anniversary would be three gifts wrapped up like cocoons, each containing an appropriate new addition to our public art collection.

The Butterfly Project is the city’s way of celebrating the International Children’s Festival on such a grand occasion as its 35th anniversary. In advance of the festival’s six-day run starting on Tuesday, the three artworks were unveiled at various family-friendly points around the city.

Butterfly Flower Kaleidoscope is Calgary artist Karen Ho Fatt’s expression of the festival’s butterfly mascot as a design element for a giant pinwheel.

“We often see butterflies on plants in the act of feeding and pollinating. I have combined the imagery of both to give the impression of a unified sculpture,” she explained.

The petals of the sculpture transform into butterfly wings while the centre of the flower has a swarm of butterfly shapes that seem to move as the piece catches the sun. It’s definitely one to appreciate both at a distance and up close.

It can be found on phase 2 of Founders’ Walk at Meadowview Drive. Ho Fatt is also the creator of Blooms Bench, the floral bench located on St. Thomas Street, and Butterfly Sails, the ACT/UCT fountain located on the Red Willow Trails just west of Chateau Mission Court.

British artist Tony Stallard returned to the city with another site-specific work like his 3.2-m high Cone that was installed in Rotary Park two years ago. This time, he brought a bronze and LED light work called Feeder to Lafleur Park. Look up on the light pole to view the two butterflies but make sure to come back in the evening when the lights come on for the full effect.

The two insects are meant to represent a parent and its child landing to feed “to suggest a sense of nourishment or new energy which is vital in a park, particularly for children,” Stallard said.

The anniversary ‘gift opening’ concluded right in the foyer of St. Albert Place with Becoming, Ontario artist Ted Fullerton’s 181-kg monument to the very cocoons that spring caterpillars pupating into a chrysalis from whence the majestic butterfly will eventually emerge.

“This sculpture … will consist of a monumental cocoon/chrysalis at a point of a butterfly’s emergence from a state of metamorphosis. It is that magical moment of realization where transition/emergence is realized,” the artist stated. “This sculpture representing a butterfly’s chrysalis will act as an iconic metaphor for being and becoming that is understood globally for possibilities, growth and transformation.”

The cost for the entire Butterfly Project was $100,000.

More information about the city’s public art, complete with a virtual tour, can be found by visiting www.stalbert.ca/exp/arts-culture/public-art.

CARFAC conference a vital introduction to artists in business

Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC) is having its national conference in Edmonton next weekend. Most visual artists are self-employed but being successful creatively does not always translate to business or economic success. That’s why Building Your Career is so important to giving many such artists their entry into that world.

The national non-profit corporation and art service organization acts as the voice of Canada’s professional visual artists, helping them with everything from skill development to resources on artist’s fees, exporting, taxes, grants, copyright, insurance, and marketing and promotion.

Sharon Moore-Foster, program and development co-ordinator at Visual Arts Alberta, the province’s affiliate of CARFAC, said that getting her membership was a crucial moment to her artistic practice in many ways.

“It changed my mental attitude about the value of myself, my profession, and the fact that I do have a career. It isn’t just something that I’m good at. It’s not just something I can do and make a little extra money. I have a status of being a visual arts professional. I have access to knowledge that has helped me become more professional in my career,” she said.

The conference and AGM runs Friday to Sunday next weekend with events including professional development presentations, awards, exhibition receptions and tours, and other social networking opportunities.

Registration is free for CARFAC members and $20 for non-members. An individual membership costs $60 or $105 for a professional artist couple. Visit www.carfac.ca to learn more about the event and the organization.

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About Author

Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.