THUNDER BAY, ON ---- October 26, 2011 ---- A series of 10 stone sculptures have been installed at the new Children’s Garden near the Tai Chi Park at Prince Arthur’s Landing. The work, entitled Balloon Animals, was produced by Paul Slipper and Nadine Stefan, a Vancouver-based artist team. Their artwork was selected through a competition open to local and national artists, administered by the City’s Public Art Program.
During the selection process, City staff held engagement sessions with several groups of children attending the City’s Summer Parks programs. Comments from the children were considered by the jury.
“It was important for us to focus on the impact they would have on children. We wanted something inviting and interactive that would appeal to their imaginations,” said Reana Mussato, Public Art Coordinator.
The sculptures depict a herd of 10 balloon animals that have drifted into Marina Park. The height of most sculptures will be at the eye level of the average six year old. The colourful array of stones such as granite from Vermilion Bay have polished, jewel-like surfaces that invite touch and an appreciation of the materials.
“Young viewers are encouraged to investigate the contrasting nature of the material,” said Slipper, referencing the associations typically made between light, airy balloons and hard, solid stone. Their intent was to provide sculptures that have universal appeal.
In keeping with the City’s Clean, Green and Beautiful policy, the City’s Waterfront Development Committee identified the incorporation of public art as a priority. City Council approved the allocation of 2% of the original capital budget for the City’s waterfront construction for the production of public art.
Artists, Paul Slipper and Nadine Stefan
For more information visit: www.thunderbay.ca/publicart