New Brighton Athletic Park Public Art Project
Versus is an artwork that derives from the necessity to embody opposition. The intention of Versus is not to generate a sense of division or combativeness, but to identify the nature of sporting endeavours in a distilled, engaging, and iconic manner. The duty was to characterize the essence of competition representing a spectrum of sports, traditions, cultures and genders.
The solution was a large format steel sculpture, an abbreviation of the term versus. This work speaks to the idea of opposing a competitor, or of challenging oneself within a team framework. Although the work reads as an amusing or localized concept such as one team versus another, the notion is applicable to larger conversations pertaining to global, social and economic dialogues.
The White Studio’s Craig Le Blanc is a Calgary-based artist who has exhibited extensively throughout Canada as well as the United States and Europe. Upon receiving a BFA in painting and sculpture from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Craig embarked upon a fifteen year professional career within the field of Industrial Design and Architecture. He is known for applying contemporary manufacturing techniques in support of, or in place of, traditional analog methodologies and mediums in the creation of art objects, and has spent the past decade creating highly refined sculptures and installations via the regeneration of common objects and iconography. His 2011 public art installation Henri was recently recognized by the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network’s Year in Review as one of North America’s top public art pieces for 2011. www.craigleblanc.com
The Public Art Program invited local, emerging artists to submit applications for a mentorship opportunity relating to this public art project. In October 2011, local artist Kathryn Blair began work in the development of the New Brighton Athletic Park art project. This was an opportunity for her to learn more about the policies and procedures around the making of public art, and the ways in which community-based programming can support art in the public realm.
An abbreviation of the term 'versus', the work is an icon for competition, operates as a landmark for the park and district, and serves as a social and interactive element for teams, friends, and patrons. The simple act of standing on either side of the form will endure as an engaging yet clarified image of competition.