linear parks 

The jury has made its decision Artists ideas for ‘Linear park’ system analysed By Paul Andrew Four artists have been short-listed to provide some $45,000 worth of work to the three phases of Village Park, which are being built this summer. More than 30 artists submitted proposals in response to the municipality’s call for designs to enhance the park, which will eventually extend from the day-skier lots across Village North, past the BrewHouse, behind the library to the Stoney Creek development. "We had a jury meeting on May 27 and based on the recommendation from the Public Art Committee, they short-listed four artists," said parks planner Kevin McFarland. "The art committee is a volunteer organization, and they played a major role in the public art policy that council just adopted. So they deal with all sorts of things." The initial target date for the completion of the three mini-parks, ranging in size from less than an acre to 1.36 acres, was set for some time in July. McFarland says that was a working date and the end of the summer or the fall is more realistic. Most of the work is already done for the Amenity Bridge area or Village Park East, but McFarland said the artists’ ideas for finishing the parks and which materials might be best are at the heart of each proposal. When the parks are finished, the municipality plans to divert water from Fitzsimmons Creek through the man-made creek that ties the park together and flows underneath the bridge which connects Village North and Marketplace. Last year, two artists were contracted to enhance the bridge with a variety of objects which inspire public attention and participation. "Those artists, Kip Jones and Jennifer Macklen, are very happy they did that work because now they have a higher profile," McFarland said in an earlier interview. The new phases of the park will incorporate stationary objects and other "hands-on" pieces, such as a wayfinding landmark and forest paths in Village Park Centre, and a storyteller’s chair, leaping stones, and stools to form a reading circle in Village Park West. "The idea is to have a gathering spot in each park. So the artists may take a look at these things and want to change the material or have suggestions about other things we want to do. So in that case, the suggestions, which have been qualified by the jury, will be looked at by the parks operations involved in maintenance," McFarland explained. Although the contracts for the individual artists should be worked out and awarded during the next two weeks, McFarland said the designs will be on display during the Arts Festival weekend, June 18-20, and will be included in the Best of Artrageous exhibit of local artists on the Friday evening of the festival. The only physical addition to the work completed around the Amenity Bridge at the north end of Village North will be a functioning fire hydrant that has an artistic edge, and a waterfall or a fountain. The fountain will be built at the head of the man-made creek adjacent to the future home of Millennium Place off Blackcomb Way. "The idea there is to make it look like the water is coming from the fountain rather than Fitzsimmons Creek," McFarland added. "And the fire hydrant idea may not go anywhere. But it might have implications elsewhere because if the design is practical enough, other municipalities might be interested."

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