We recently spent an extended weekend in Saskatoon and were most impressed by the public art that was seemingly everywhere from street art to murals, from bike racks to art parks and lots in between.
Check out these postcards and see if you agree!
Making A Statement
Signature Public Art
Every city has a signature piece of art, in Saskatoon that is probably Doug Bentham's "Unfurl" located in the middle of a busy intersection at the west side of the University Bridge. One of the benchmarks of a good piece of art is that people still like it and are talking about it 10+ years later.
In a recent Saskatoon StarPhoenix piece, Bentham notes people still stop and talk to him about the piece (yes, Bentham lives just outside of Saskatoon) and tell him how much they like the piece and how it changes with the weather. He was also quoted as saying "Unfurled" taught him "it's OK to consider the public when conceiving a sculpture."
University of Saskatchewan Art Park
Urban Design As Art
Popular Public Art
Street Art / Graffiti
While Saskatoon might not have a public artwork by a world renowned artist, I think that works in their favour. Their public art is about Saskatoon by Saskatoonians. It isn't the ubiquitous public art you see in every North American city. It helps create a unique sense of place.
I was told by a local that many of the new pieces are leased from the artist for a 3-year period and then returned to the artist. Public art doesn't have to be permanent art!
Hmm....perhaps Calgary should have develop a "lease to buy" program for public art which would allow controversial pieces to be removed if they haven't gained public acceptance after three years.
It seemed like there was public art or artifacts on every block of Saskatoon's city center, which is why I think Saskatoon could be called the "Public Art Capital of the Prairies."