Art Upon Avord

As regular readers of this blog know, I like to play around in photoshop and present ideas for how to make Regina a little more vibrant.  While my previous hypothetical renderings have focused on spaces around town that I feel need help, today is just about adding more interest to an already great space.

Last year I was working in Avord Tower located on the corner of Victoria Avenue and Hamilton Street in downtown Regina. Most will know this corner as the home of Atlantis Coffee at street level*.  One day as I was walking to work, I took a closer look at the parking structure on Avord Tower and noticed that parts of it resemble picture frames (one along Victoria Avenue and one along Hamilton Street).

So, naturally, I thought it might be fun if these spaces were used to display art and couldn’t resist playing with options!

Ideally, these spaces would showcase work by local artists, but for this post I’ve used pieces I think are interesting, simply for the purpose of visualizing possibilities**.

One option for this type of arrangement would be for the folks at Avord Tower to commission a work printed on vinyl specifically to be displayed in the space. Picture something like this very cool mural “Illuminated“, by artist Katie Craig – it’s painted on the side of a large, old warehouse in Detroit. The colours are lovely and the visuals are simple and rather elegant (check out the actual piece for the full effect).

Another approach would be to partner with a local gallery (the MacKenzie or Dunlop) and use the space to cross promote/show work from current exhibitions.  Since we’re going purely hypothetical here, I’ve done up examples to show a piece by Picasso, and a self portrait by Chuck Close (two shows I’d love see in town -hint hint).

Art installations are great for creating interesting, vibrant public spaces – people like to be visually stimulated.  I think there is a lot of opportunity to increase the presence of fine art in Regina’s downtown and we should seek out new ways to incorporate it, making our favourite locales even better.

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* For some context, this corner is often lauded as a great redevelopment of space in our downtown.  What is now Atlantis Coffee used to be just a wall if I recall correctly.  I know I’ve seen photos comparing the before and after though I couldn’t find any to include here.  The redevelopment of the corner was so successful and fits well with it’s surroundings that it seems like it was always this way – if someone has old before photos I’d love to see them.  In the last few years it has definitely become a hot spot in town.

** All images are borrowed with the utmost respect to the artists and their work, and are used for hypothetical visualization purposes only.  These mock-ups do not represent interest by the respective artists to display their work as presented.

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Art Upon Avord

4 thoughts on “Art Upon Avord

  1. Steve Craig says:

    I love this idea. Would it be feasible to pitch this to the owners of the building, or how exactly could someone get the ball rolling on this? It’s such a simple idea yet it’s a win/win/win: Artist/Gallery, Building Owner, General public…

    1. Steve – I’m glad you dig this!

      There really is no set way that things like this come about – they can seem like serendipitous “happenings” though there is lots of planning that goes into it (materials to use, how to hang the piece, etc). That is not to say that the process can’t be straightforward (ideally) – I mean, this really would be similar to a scaled down, fine art, version of the Riders 100th Anniversary installation on the Hill Towers.

      While I’m sure it would be possible for a gallery to approach the owners, a project like this would be best if it was initiated by the property owner. Someone could suggest this idea to the owners and if they were interested they would either have to commission an artist or approach a local gallery to partner (and that then would depend on the gallery’s interest as well as the contracts for exhibits that they bring to town, etc.).

      But – I think something like this would be very possible if there was enough interest. Contractually I imagine that it would not be much different than any piece of art commissioned and hung in a public space, it would just be huge and potentially fantastic. I too think that it could be a win-win-win, and what’s great is that it wouldn’t have to be permanent – the piece could change periodically.

      At the moment I definitely don’t have time to look into this further, but maybe over the Christmas break I’ll have some time – or someone else can take up the charge!

      1. Steve says:

        Thanks for the feedback. It is a wonderfully simple idea and I think the approach you outlined makes sense. But, like most things it’s a matter of someone finding the time to take up the cause. At the moment I might just mention the idea to a few people and gauge the interest. I’m quite certain it would improve an already great corner though!

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