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Canyon Meadows Aquatic & Fitness Centre - Public Art

Reflection and Flow is a series of artworks at the Canyon Meadows Aquatic & Fitness Centre. The content for the artworks came from working with members of the Canyon Meadows community, through the Artists Working in Community Program.

The Project

Public Art Budget: $18,900
Capital Project:
Canyon Meadows Aquatic and Fitness Centre
Title of Artwork: Reflection and Flow
Project Completion: December 2017

Opened in 1972, Canyon Meadows Aquatic and Fitness Centre has been serving the neighbouring community for more than 40 years. The facility was renovated in 2017.

Wall spaces within the newly designed interior provided an impactful opportunity for public art installations. 

Community engagement was an important part of the Artist's early exploration and discovery to achieve the overall project goals. Canyon Meadows is a “This is My Neighbourhood” community who has identified public art as something they would like to see in their community: A good fit for this project.

The Public Art Concept

As a part of the 2017 Artists Working in Community course, participating artists were asked to design a public art project that addressed the specific needs and concerns of staff and users of Canyon Meadows Aquatics and Fitness Centre while incorporating community members in a participatory way.

Michael Grills' project, Reflection and Flow, was selected through the City's standard competitive process to be installed at the Centre.

The content for the resulting five artworks came from working with members of the Canyon Meadows community, who shared their thoughts and stories about life in the area. These were incorporated into the final designs.

The resulting artworks tell a story of the Canyon Meadows Community, and are installed throughout the public spaces at Canyon Meadows Aquatics and Fitness Centre, including the lobby, stairwell and upstairs hall.

The Artwork

Using various materials (two layers of acrylic panels, and a reflective background), Michael created images that change based on viewing angles and reflections. As the viewer passes by, there is a sense of movement. The movement in the layers is a metaphor for how the community is currently engaged in a constant flow of visitors and traffic, while the reflection from the steel is meant to be a literal example of what happens with water.

The Artist

Michael Grills is a Calgary based artist and illustrator with 18 years of experience. His practice spans many mediums including video games, publishing, advertising, privately commissioned murals and installations.

In 2016, Michael was previously contracted by the City of Calgary to create window art for the Armour Block, located at 15 4 Street NE in Bridgeland. That project involved understanding the need for Affordable Housing, the Bridgeland Community, and the City of Calgary, while telling a story about the building that engaged the community.

Community Engagement

After various trips through the community of Canyon Meadows it became evident to the artist that Canyon Meadows is like an island in an ever-moving flow of water, people, and animals.

Michael led four community engagements, including two community walks and two community drip painting events. The events had all participants take part in drip painting on canvases. It was designed to be a non-threatening event and allowed people to create abstract art as they thought about flow and maps. The resulting engagements and images were incorporated into the final images and art installed at the Centre.