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Rocky Ridge Recreation Facility Public Art


The artist team of Haddad l Drugan are working at the new Rocky Ridge Recreation Facility (Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge) to develop permanent public artworks for the site. Haddad l Drugan were chosen through an open international call and selected by a project-specific jury of five Calgarians. The public art budget is $1.148M and is expected to be completed in 2018.

The Concept

Artists' work flock
Flock - installed 2017. Photo credit: Haddad|Drugan. Used by permission.

The artwork will be responsive to the natural environment, creating memorable iconic experiences that reflect the identity of the community, landscape and facility. It includes two artworks that each tie to a significant natural feature of the site: the wetland and the knoll.

The first artwork entitled Flock, overlooks the wetland, and was Installed in 2017. The installation complements the wetland as a bird-like flock rising into the sky. More information on this installation is available on the Flock project details page.

The second artwork entitled Ascend, will be located on the knoll, and is scheduled to be installed in 2018. Ascend will be composed of two monumental sculptures inspired by the changing shapes of flocks of birds, herds, the movement of Chinook clouds, horns, and torsos of bison and elk, the matrices of animal nests and dens, and mythical creatures. More information on this installation is available on the Ascend project details page.

The Artists

Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan are an artist team who specialize in conceptually driven site-specific art, that engages users in a variety of experiences at different scales, vantages and conditions, making the art a continuously transforming experience that is deeply felt, memorable and unique to the site.

Community Engagement

Ascend – Artists’ concept rendering
Ascend – Artists’ concept rendering. Photo credit: Haddad|Drugan. Used by permission.

As part of their concept development for this artwork, Laura and Tom met with the community to present and discuss their research and thoughts about the site.

The community response affirmed the artists’ ideas, and the artwork designed for the Rocky Ridge Recreation Facility will be spatially fused with the key natural areas of the site – the knoll and wetland – and the dynamic over time through changing seasons, weather and light conditions. The artwork’s responsiveness to the environment will make it a continuously transforming aesthetic experience that is deeply felt, ultimately becoming an integral part of the community’s essence.