Art outside

I've painted on some unusual surfaces, and it's one of my favourite challenges.

 

From super short windows of time in which to create, to wild weather and curious passersby (who've seen me as everything from an art angel to a suspicious vandal), it's never dull. I see faces light up, walking feet stop, hands point and mouths chatter as they wonder how or why this art has appeared in front of them unexpectedly.

Look Out!

Traffic calming intervention - Waterloo, ON

Be careful turning the corner! These hedgehogs are awfully spiky.

 

During a bout of intense construction in uptown Waterloo, this intersection saw a massive increase in traffic. The City of Waterloo Arts and Culture department decided to hire an artist to bring attention to the crosswalk.

 

It was my hope that a bright array of sweet hedgehogs trying not to pop their balloons would slow people down and remind them to look for vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists.

 

When the unexpected happens, like construction detours (or a snowstorm in the middle of May when you're trying to paint a crosswalk) what do you do? Look out for the brightness!

 

Look Out! was commissioned for the crosswalk at Regina and William streets by the City of Waterloo in 2016.

Many thanks to Laura Harrison for her assistance.

Four "Playable" Artworks in Waterloo Public Square

Over the summer of 2016, I completed a series of playable temporary painting for the City of Waterloo in their public square. The only thing better than chatting with people while I made these works was watching people enjoy them while I attended other events happening in the space.

Hopscotch Races

It's a sunny day and you're on lunch break, walking with a friend through the city's core. Suddenly, on the pavement in front of you appears a giraffe, lazily munching on a happy tree while wearing roller skates and a fanny pack!

 

Messages on the ground invite you to 'trample' the art. You can't pass this up...

 

Your friend beats you to the punch, issuing a challenge: who can hopscotch across the giraffe spots or tree leaves the fastest? Loser buys lunch!

 

Many thanks Aisling O'Flanagan for her assistance.

Choose Your Own Adventure with Jefferson the Salamander

While this temporary artwork lived, families, businessmen, and security guards alike joined endangered and bemused Jefferson the Salamander as he took a journey around Waterloo Public Square to show everyone a few of the other local species that need protection.

 

Many thanks to Laura Harrison for her assistance.

Bee vs Hummingbird - Pollinator Scavenger Hunt

For a while, before they faded under the blazing summer sun, pollinating flowers could be found hidden throughout the square. A simple set of instructions showed silhouettes of which flowers are preferred by either bees or hummingbirds. Families, friends and coworkers who decided they had a few minutes to spare divided into Team Bee and Team Hummingbird, competing to see who can identify all their own flowers first. Hint: a silhouette of a bee or a hummingbird next to each flower helped confirm whether you've found the right ones. Having watched people play, I get the feeling many players all ended up on Team Hummingbee!
 

Ontario Snakes and Ladders

When was the last time Snakes and Ladders taught you anything about snakes? Or ladders for that matter? Well, you wouldn't have found the latest news on ladders in this game, but it did deliver on local snake facts! When you play Ontario Snakes and Ladders, you learn why a snake might wear spectacles, how to identify a rattlesnake, and why water snakes are good for fish populations. This is a pro-snake game. Learn a fun fact? Climb up a ladder. Step on a snake? Boo, go back and try again.

10 Carden Chalkboards

Chalkboard art is a humbling effort. What to say? How to say it? How to fit it on the board without - and I've run out of room. Again.

 

But it was a fun way to spend part of my volunteer shift each Monday morning at 10 Carden, a coworking space that introduced me to an entire community when I first moved to Guelph.

You can't get too attached to perfection with a warped, lumpy chalkboard like this. It will soon be washed away by rain or wiped away for a new message. But you can practice getting a smile and a moment of attention with a goofy idea and a couple pieces of chalk.

Sandy Hill Mural - Ottawa, ON

France's Travels

This experimental mural was a dreamy collage made from travel photos of the homeowner. It includes a mosaic mandala, nestled in moss, and still stands brightly looking down Goulburn Avenue in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood of Ottawa.

Read more about the origins and inspiration behind the mural here https://www.ash-acs.ca/outdoor-art-in-the-neighbourhood/

Special thanks to France for her vision and trust.