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.
* 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.