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WATERSHED+ Public Art

Watershed Plus

Concept  

 
WATERSHED+ is a program that embeds artists and artistic practices within Utilities and Environmental Protection (UEP) department core activities and the Calgary watershed. By enhancing existing opportunities and developing new creative endeavors, the vision of WATERSHED+ is to build an emotional connection between people and their watershed.
 
Watershed+ is hosted by The City of Calgary’s UEP department with the Public Art Program. To read more, download the WATERSHED+ manual.

Lead Artists  

 
The WATERSHED+ program was developed by a multidisciplinary team lead by artists Sans façon through the UEP Public Art Plan. Working collaboratively with a project manager and a core group of advisors and water management subject matter experts, Sans façon has been selected as the lead artist for the pilot period (September 2011 through June 2016) to establish and implement the initiatives of WATERSHED+.
 
Sans façon is a Calgary-based art practice that responds to the relationship between people and place. Working internationally, their approach renews awareness and tempts interaction with the surroundings and is realized through networks of communities, organizations and individuals.  

WATERSHED+ Initiatives 

East Bowmont Park Improvement Project

Forest Lawn Lift Station

Fire Hydrant Water Fountains

Bee Kingdom Microbes  

WATERSHED+: Dynamic Environment Lab 

Artist Residencies 
 

Throughout 2013 and 2014, four artists were in residence at various studios including Ralph Klein Park (RKP), TELUS Spark and Stride Gallery. Through their residency, each artist engaged the community in a dialogue and explored issues relevant to Calgary’s watershed, water management and the RKP environment. 

Artist Mentorships  

Throughout 2012/2013, three artists were selected through an open call to mentor under WATERSHED+ lead artists Sans façon. During that time, interdisciplinary artist Randy Niessen, Environmental and Graphic Designer Daniel Puloski and Bow Valley sculptor Peig Abbott helped in the development and implementation of WATERSHED+.  

Talks, Exhibitions & Programming  

Water Works Film Series (2014) 

An outdoor series of documentary shorts and experimental films about water projected in public spaces throughout Calgary, held in collaboration with Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers.    

Watershed+ Bus Tour, Esker Foundation (2014) 

Esker Foundation and representatives from The City of Calgary and the WATERSHED+ program presented a behind the scenes guided tour of Calgary’s water management systems and public art projects spearheaded by the WATERSHED+ program.   

Lost Spaces Competition, Design Talks Institute (2015) 

Design Talks Institute (d.talks), a design advocacy organization, in collaboration with WATERSHED+, hosted a call for ideas to reframe how underused public spaces in Calgary might be used. There were 290 submissions from 40 countries.   

Awards & Recognition