Experiments in Public Art

The Illingworth Kerr Gallery (IKG) and Alberta College of Art + Design invite you to attend Experiments in Public Art, a group exhibition presenting socially engaged ideas for public art.

PHASE 1 Between October 2016 and February 2017 the Illingworth Kerr Gallery (IKG) and The City of Calgary Public Art Program invited three internationally recognized artists Tania Bruguera, Jeanne van Heeswijk and Alfredo Jaar to speak publicly about their work and share their experience in the field of public art and social practice. These established practitioners also acted as mentors for a group of regional artists who had an interest in socially engaged practices and aimed to further explore the field. The five artists selected by a competitive process were Dick Averns, Alana Bartol, Kevin Jesuino, Taryn Kneteman and anne drew potter. Over the past five months, these artists have participated in workshops with the mentors and developed public art proposals for The City of Calgary. The proposals are here presented publicly for the first time.

PHASE 2 This exhibition includes the project proposals developed over the course of five months by the participants in the Public Art and Social Practice Workshop Series with the support of three mentors of international repute. Alana Bartol, Kevin Jesuino and anne drew potter have worked collaboratively at their proposal that investigates the city’s ecosystem and proposes alternative scenarios for its communities. Their focus is on food, sustainability, equality, urban gardening, zoning and environmental concerns. anne drew potter also presents a solo proposal in the exhibition exploring the way the queer body learns, responds to and acts in the natural environment as a form of collective emancipation. Dick Averns, conversely, is interested in mental health and wellbeing. His proposal combines a public awareness campaign around these issues and a series of workshops that are both providing the imagery for the campaign itself as well as offering an opportunity for participants to reflect on this subject matter. Finally, Taryn Kneteman considers how anxiety shapes our material circumstances, and uses performance to engage Calgarians in a dialogue about key contemporary issues. By means of this project, the artist reflects on the function of employment status in self-perception, and explores the uneasiness associated with being outside traditional economic roles.

PHASE 3 The City of Calgary Public Art Program has a budget of up to $50,000 to realize one or more of the projects proposed by the artists in the exhibition. Viewers are invited to express their opinion and support the project of their choice by casting a vote using the iPad on display. You simply need to add your email address and vote for the proposal you would like to see executed. Email addresses collected are only used to ensure duplicate votes are only counted once. In addition to the public vote, a specialized jury will meet to consider all proposals and select one or more projects to come to fruition. The City’s selection panel process typically involves seven members: a City representative, three community representatives, and three art professionals. The collective public vote will inform the selection panel’s deliberation.

PHASE 4 The IKG and City of Calgary Public Art Program is pleased to announce that the selection panel has chosen artist Dick Averns’ project Recognition…Validation…Reassurance… as the recipient of the Public Art & Social Practice Workshop Series award. Avern’s project also received the highest number of public votes during the exhibition Experiments in Public Art at the Illingworth Kerr Gallery.

Public Programs

Public Art + Social Practice Workshops and Keynote Presentations
Offered by the Illingworth Kerr Gallery and The City of Calgary Public Art

Internationally renowned artists Alfredo Jaar, Tania Bruguera and Jeanne van Heeswijk will each present a public lecture and lead a weekend workshop for the selected group of Calgary artists. Spaces are limited, and artists will be selected by a selection panel based on the strength of their applications. This workshop series is intended for local Calgary artists and results in an exhibition at the IKG and an opportunity for a public art commission.

Alfredo Jaar – October 13, 2017 at the University of Calgary
Tania Bruguera – January 19, 2017 at the Glenbow Theatre
Jeanne van Heeswijk – February 23, 2017 at Stanford Perrott Lecture Theatre (ACAD)

Other Events

Sidewalk Citizen Tzavvta with Jeanne Van Heeswijk
February 24 Salon – Rethinking the Neighbourhood

Re-Imagining the Commons with Alana Bartol, Kevin Jesuino and anne drew potter – April 5, 2017

Workshop with Dick Averns creating artworks addressing mental wellness – April 19, 2017

Exhibition Dates

March 23 – April 22, 2017

Opening Reception

Wednesday March 22
5 PM – 7 PM

all photos courtesy Jeremy Pavka

Tania Bruguera

Jeanne van Heeswijk

videography courtesy Sean Lindsay