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The Colour of Snow - Public Artwork

Title of Artwork: The Colour of Snow
Artist: Barbara Grygutis
Site: The Colour of Snow, by Barbara Grygutis is a public artwork integrated into the Crowfoot CTrain light rail transit (LRT) station as well as sections of the overpass at Crowchild Trail/Nose Hill Drive NW.

 

The Colour of Snow Public Art

Concept

The Colour of Snow, by Barbara Grygutis consists of two components: colours and patterns in south-facing glass windows of the LRT station, and a series of panels in bridge railings.

The artist's work is inspired by the unique molecular structure of snow flakes and reflects a connection between structures we build and the natural environment. The artist intends to draw attention to how the beauty of small elements can have larger meaning in our daily lives.

Barbara Grygutis worked with the window glass to create a watercolour effect for the snowflake motifs. The artist "paints" the large panels of glass which are then fired in a kiln to fuse the layers of colour. The result is reminiscent of stained glass in church windows. During the daylight hours, the windows will be a beautiful burst of colour and design for viewers inside the station. During the evening, the lit station will also illuminate the glass painting for viewers outside the station.

The artist's railing panels are a combination of snowflake patterns meant to emulate a snow storm. The panels are created from laser-cut steel and fitted into existing railings. The motifs used on the railings reflect the design elements used in the glass windows. There are 24 panels on the Nose Hill Bridge and 12 on the east side of the Crowfoot Connector.

The intention of this public art project is to create a conceptual and visual link between the interchange and the LRT station.

The Artist 

Artist Barbara Grygutis has been working in the public art field for more than 20 years and has an extensive list of public art projects throughout North America to her credit.

For more information about Barbara's career, please see Barbara Grygutis's online biography.

The Project

Artist Selection

  • The artist was chosen through an "invitational call" using the Public Art Program's Artist Roster. This public art process is derived from the Council-approved Public Art Policy, which reads: "Proposals shall be solicited through open competition, invited competition or direct award."
  • The Artist Roster is a list of pre-approved artists who can quickly be shortlisted for projects with limited/invitational calls or direct awards. All artists are invited to submit an application for inclusion on the artist roster. These artists are evaluated by an independent jury before being added to the roster.
  •  The standard process used by The City of Calgary to commission artists is by an "open call," but is not always possible due to compressed timelines or specific project requirements -- this is when a limited call/invitation or single sourcing is more appropriate.
  • Artists from the Artist Roster shortlisted for this project were evaluated by an independent jury based on the factors listed in the call.

Funding

  •  Funding for this project was made available through the "percent for art" strategy approved by Council in the Public Art Policy (2004), where eligible capital projects over $1 million set aside one percent of their budget for the creation of public art.
  • The capital project which provided the funding was the construction of the North West LRT extension project.

Public Art Budget: $323K
Commissioned by: Transportation Department
Project Completion: 2008