NE public art projects
About the initiative
Several public art projects are in the works for Calgary’s northeast communities including a bike rack, bench and picnic table, 10 mini galleries at community centres, artistic banners, sculptures, documentary short films and community events.
This initiative aims to build amazing spaces for people to come together and provides opportunities for local artists to showcase their talent while celebrating the diversity of art forms, people and cultures represented in northeast Calgary.
Inspired by community
Now open for input
Local artist, Sumer Singh is currently seeking ideas and inspiration for a sculpture at the Genesis Centre.
Share your vision online and in-person.
- Visit engage.calgary.ca/NEartists before December 5, 2022.
- Speak with the artist at the Genesis Centre lobby to vote on elements of sculptural design and materials that appeal to you. Sumer will provide activities for children and encourage you to draw what you would like to see reflected in his creation.
- Saturday, November 19 from 12 to 3 p.m.
Languages spoken at this event - English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Spanish
- Wednesday, November 30 from 3 to 6 p.m.
Languages spoken at this event - English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Farsi
- Saturday, November 19 from 12 to 3 p.m.
What we’ve heard so far
In 2021 we asked for your ideas on what kind of public art should be created, where it should be located and what stories the public art should tell. Your thoughtful contributions helped us to build the overall project plan and issue artist calls.
In 2022 we hired local artists to create a bench, bike rack and picnic table. Northeast community members provided input on what they would like to see incorporated in the artists’ concepts. The artists are now working on design and fabrication and these first three projects are expected to be installed in Calgary early in 2023.
Upcoming artist engagement
Sign up for our monthly public art newsletter to be notified when further opportunities to inspire artistic concepts become available.
More artists wanted
We are currently in search of art by 30 artists with strong ties to northeast Calgary to be featured in outdoor mini galleries at 10 community centres throughout 2023. All art mediums are welcome. Submissions will be accepted from professional, emerging and recreational artists in all disciplines for three rounds of applications.
Meet the artists
Local, talented and enthusiastic artists have been selected for the following projects. Each of these artists brings a unique perspective and is committed to working with community members to create meaningful artworks.
Sumer Singh operates his creative practice at the intersection of design, engineering, architecture and fabrication. Sumer Singh Studio was established in 2013 to create objects based on artistic expression and has grown into a full-scale design and materials research lab with in-house fabrication.
Sumer Singh’s family name is Matharu, meaning sword hilt maker going back to 500 years of artists, blacksmiths, poets, and authors from Punjab in Western India. His background in art, engineering and architecture allows Sumer to focus on technical yet free exploration of ideas, which are propelled forward by material science and applied research http://www.sumersingh.com/
“I am deeply honoured to have been chosen as the sculpture artist for the Genesis Centre due to my inherent connection to this area, and my passion for building community as an artist. I lived in Martindale near the Sikh temple for many years since moving to Calgary in 2008 and my artist studio is located in the NE Greenview Industrial Area. I have also been a member of the YMCA and Saddletowne library at the Genesis Centre, which laid the foundations of my journey as an artist. I’m eager to start speaking with community members and explore ways in which this piece of public art might promote cultural diversity, beauty and historical significance to the land.”
Mini gallery curators
Ten outdoor mini galleries at community centres in the northeast will showcase artworks by 30 local artists throughout 2023. Curators Katrina Ali and Morgan Black will select the artworks and plan the exhibits based on themes gathered from conversations with northeast community members
Katrina Ali has a BA, Spanish major from UBC, Vancouver. She is fluent in French and Spanish and is deeply inspired by diversity. Following graduation from university, she taught English in the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador until she recently returned to Calgary, her native city. Katrina is the co-founder of Small Space Gallery which offered a humble, curated art-centered space to a wide variety of local creatives from March 2018 to April 2020 in Kensington, Calgary. Currently, Katrina is a Communications Specialist for The Knowledge Society, as well as offers art curation/advisory services. She is passionate about the arts and the urban development movement in the city of Calgary and wishes to contribute to this movement in a meaningful and proactive way.
Morgan Black - Bio coming soon
Bench, bike rack and picnic table artists
Apiow Akwai is an emerging visual artist based in Calgary. She discovered her passion for arts at the age of six. What started as a creative and emotional outlet led to her deep respect and appreciation for the arts.
Her work primarily consists of portraits, landscape, and human figures that are created in oils and acrylics on canvas. Apiow uses deliberate compositions and symbolism to shed light on the dark and beautiful chaos of emotions that is intentionally portrayed across all her work. The use of art therapy and the correlation between mental health and self discovery are tools Apiow uses as inspiration when creating a new body of work. https://apiowakwai.com
Day Pajarillo is a Filipino immigrant who arrived in Canada in 2008 as a food service worker.
Day is a visual artist, fashion designer and educator who took a year of an architectural course at the Far Eastern University Manila in 1985 and a fashion design course at Slim’s Fashion and Arts School in Makati, Philippines in 1986. Day graduated from the University of Santo Tomas, UST in Manila with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and a Painting major in 1992.
She also attended the advanced fashion design class in 2001, held by the late Danilo Franco, a well-known celebrity fashion designer in the Philippines. Her interests are human figures and movements, facial expressions, everyday life, history of arts, cultural arts and dances of the world. https://daypajarillo.wordpress.com/
“My current practice is modern art, contemporary painting, leaning to impressionism and cubism with people as my main subject. I am happy when I paint human figures, movements and portraits. There is an infinite availability of subjects to paint in different approaches, which makes it more interesting when I just let my imagination guide me and be surprised with the outcome.”
Vikram Johal has a diverse background in creating through different mediums including video production, sound engineering, fashion, and graphic design. His focus is predominantly on experiential design using the combination of these mediums.
Vikram holds a Masters in Architecture from the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape and an undergraduate degree in Biomechanics from the University of Calgary. Vikram’s passions include Muay Thai in which he has trained since the age of 11 and has competed in both locally and internationally. https://viqdesign.ca/
"Being born and raised here in NE Calgary, my connection to this part of this city runs deep. I have always been a creative that looks for different ways to connect emotionally as humans through art and expression. I am beyond excited for the opportunity to use my knowledge and experience in architecture and design to help tell the stories of our communities in an authentic way."
Documentary film maker
He is also a multi-award winning photographer and one of his proudest moments was winning the Art Champion award at The City of Calgary's Mayor's Launch in 2019. He achieved a life goal when he opened Calgary's first Black-owned photography studio, where he now mentors other young artists.
With his first degree in Information Technology, Samuel helped develop the IT infrastructure at the largest YMCA in the world, but art has always been close to his heart.
Northeast public art initiative projects will be documented via short films by Samuel. The films will highlight how the community inspired the art, the artists themselves, their creative process, and the installation of the art in northeast Calgary. https://www.instagram.com/samuelobadero/