Public Art - Niagara Falls Exchange

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Consultation has concluded

Niagara Falls Exchange Public Art Competition Winner Announced

A jury from the Niagara Falls Public Art Advisory Task Force has selected the proposed work “Flock,” by Nicholas Crombach, as the winner of the City of Niagara Falls Public Art Competition.

The winning proposal was selected from 16 submissions and five shortlisted designs. The selection was based on the response to the competition’s goal and themes, appropriateness for the site, artistic excellence and technical feasibility, and over 350 comments from the public.

The proposed design is described by the artist, “Flock commemorates the inherent beauty found in spaces and events which bring people together, while at the same time reflecting the natural environment and reminding viewers of our collective duty to protect it. As such, it reflects Niagara Falls itself as a destination which enables vibrant intermingling of cultures and communities, in combination with stunning natural wonders and critical ecosystems.”

About Nicholas Crombach, and the proposed work "Flock"

  • Nicholas Crombach is an award-winning visual artist based in Toronto, Canada, who majored in Sculpture & Installation, at OCAD University, Toronto.
  • “Flock” consists of a cast aluminum sculpture depicting three migratory songbirds frozen in flight. Rendered at a larger than life scale, and positioned to create a roughly pyramidal shape, these unique yet unified birds represent three of the many diverse bird species who migrate to and from the Niagara Region each year.
  • The artwork will be integrated into the existing landscape design.
  • The work will be installed at the Exchange after completion of the construction on the property. Currently, the Exchange is on target for completion in November 2022.
  • The all-inclusive budget of $90,000 will include all costs directly associated with the artwork.

Public art helps strengthen the city’s visual identity, stimulates the economy, and enhances tourism and community pride.

Niagara Falls Exchange Public Art Competition Winner Announced

A jury from the Niagara Falls Public Art Advisory Task Force has selected the proposed work “Flock,” by Nicholas Crombach, as the winner of the City of Niagara Falls Public Art Competition.

The winning proposal was selected from 16 submissions and five shortlisted designs. The selection was based on the response to the competition’s goal and themes, appropriateness for the site, artistic excellence and technical feasibility, and over 350 comments from the public.

The proposed design is described by the artist, “Flock commemorates the inherent beauty found in spaces and events which bring people together, while at the same time reflecting the natural environment and reminding viewers of our collective duty to protect it. As such, it reflects Niagara Falls itself as a destination which enables vibrant intermingling of cultures and communities, in combination with stunning natural wonders and critical ecosystems.”

About Nicholas Crombach, and the proposed work "Flock"

  • Nicholas Crombach is an award-winning visual artist based in Toronto, Canada, who majored in Sculpture & Installation, at OCAD University, Toronto.
  • “Flock” consists of a cast aluminum sculpture depicting three migratory songbirds frozen in flight. Rendered at a larger than life scale, and positioned to create a roughly pyramidal shape, these unique yet unified birds represent three of the many diverse bird species who migrate to and from the Niagara Region each year.
  • The artwork will be integrated into the existing landscape design.
  • The work will be installed at the Exchange after completion of the construction on the property. Currently, the Exchange is on target for completion in November 2022.
  • The all-inclusive budget of $90,000 will include all costs directly associated with the artwork.

Public art helps strengthen the city’s visual identity, stimulates the economy, and enhances tourism and community pride.

Consultation has concluded
  • Niagara Falls Exchange Public Art Competition Winner Announced

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    supporting image

    A jury from the Niagara Falls Public Art Advisory Task Force has selected the proposed work “Flock,” by Nicholas Crombach, as the winner of the City of Niagara Falls Public Art Competition.

    The winning proposal was selected from 16 submissions and five shortlisted designs. The selection was based on the response to the competition’s goal and themes, appropriateness for the site, artistic excellence and technical feasibility, and over 350 comments from the public.

    The proposed design is described by the artist, “Flock commemorates the inherent beauty found in spaces and events which bring people together, while at the same time reflecting the natural environment and reminding viewers of our collective duty to protect it. As such, it reflects Niagara Falls itself as a destination which enables vibrant intermingling of cultures and communities, in combination with stunning natural wonders and critical ecosystems.”

    About Nicholas Crombach, and the proposed work "Flock"

    • Nicholas Crombach is an award-winning visual artist based in Toronto, Canada, who majored in Sculpture & Installation, at OCAD University, Toronto.
    • “Flock” consists of a cast aluminum sculpture depicting three migratory songbirds frozen in flight. Rendered at a larger than life scale, and positioned to create a roughly pyramidal shape, these unique yet unified birds represent three of the many diverse bird species who migrate to and from the Niagara Region each year.
    • The artwork will be integrated into the existing landscape design.
    • The work will be installed at the Exchange after completion of the construction on the property. Currently, the Exchange is on target for completion in November 2022.
    • The all-inclusive budget of $90,000 will include all costs directly associated with the artwork.

    Public art helps strengthen the city’s visual identity, stimulates the economy, and enhances tourism and community pride.

  • FINALIST | Germaine Koh Studio Ltd

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    Germaine Koh Studio Ltd, Fluid Changes
    View Image Gallery of Germaine Koh Studio Ltd's Renderings
    Artist Statement:
    My proposal, Fluid Changes, responds to a number of characteristics of the neighbourhood, the city, and the new Niagara Falls Exchange centre:

    • The purpose of the Niagara Falls Exchange as a cultural and commercial hub — a place of interchange for the historic Main and Ferry neighbourhood and beyond
    • The city and region as a place centered on exchange and meeting, both in terms of historic events and the patterns of trade, industry and tourism that continue to this day
    • The geology and geography of the region, which continues to be shaped by the immense power of water.

    Concept: Fluid Changes

    The artwork will reiterate the site’s history and renewed function as a place of interchange, by creating a welcoming and engaging situation for social exchange that also harkens to conditions such as business transactions and industrial activity that have contributed to the character of the city.

    I will request that the designated public art podium be formed close to ground level as a low platform, and upon this low stage-like space I will set a group of three interconnected seats which physically adjust in reaction to how they are used. The seats are attached to the tops of a set of hydraulic pistons that are interconnected such that when one seat is loaded — for example when it is sat upon— it will sink lower and the unloaded seats rise, as the hydraulic fluid in the system moves from the compressed cylinder to the unloaded or less-loaded ones.

    The brightly coloured seats also suggest game pieces, reinforcing the possibility of playful interaction. As different combinations of people use the set of seats, these will adjust to the new conditions, creating a shifting set of human relationships and opening opportunities for conversation, exchange, negotiation, play, and experiential learning.

    Artwork Principles

    The piece aims to create an engaging interactive situation which:

    • is bold and inviting
    • encourages curiosity, investigation and play
    • prompts social exchange, discussion and conversation
    • allows the audience’s experience of it to develop over time and through experience
    • aligns with purposes of the Niagara Falls Exchange project, such as gathering and exchange
    • reflects and relates to both human histories and natural conditions of the region
    • is a real demonstration of some of the operations that underpin local industries.

    Many of these principles align with the goals of the overall Niagara Falls Exchange development.

    Operation

    The setup is based on a simple principle of fluid power: that mechanical work can be done by exerting pressure on an incompressible fluid such as oil or water in a sealed sytem — for example using pistons in cylinders. The pressure applied on one part is transmitted to the other parts of the system, which move accordingly. In most hydraulic applications, a difference in size of the pistons allows the force to be multiplied. In this case, we will use cylinders of the same dimension, allowing the audience and users instead to observe and experiment with the effects of different external forces — that is, people sitting and interacting with the seats. See Renderings section for a full-size version of the principle-of-operation diagram above (remove if you don’t provide this rendering).

    Additional design possibility

    I would like to consider forming the seats with additional references to commercial and industrial equipment such as dishes, trays, or specific seats such as tractor seats. This may serve to distinguish these seats visually from other types of seating. This detail will be decided during the design development phase.

    Concept references

    While the shape of the seats clearly resemble hydraulic cylinders, the work also makes visual reference to certain kinds of equipment, notably the balance scale, a simple and time-tested commercial and industrial tool whose effect is based on differences of mass.

    The work acknowledges the hydraulic power that has undeniably shaped the region since the first hydraulic mill in the 1700s, then hydraulic canals, and later hydroelectric generating stations. (Hydraulic power, also known as fluid power, refers to the effects of controlled movement of liquid under pressure, whether used to move a piston, turn waterwheels or turbines, or other.)

  • FINALIST | Kyle Thornley

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    Kyle Thornley, Creating a Buzz
    View Image Gallery of Kyle Thornley's Renderings
    Artist Statement:

    Creating a Buzz’ - a dynamic sculptural installation composed of vibrant bees encircling symbolic paintbrush ‘flowers’. The brushes are held by graceful, vividly coloured fingers emerging as a strong representation of human connection. The fingers are authentic symbols of holding our stories, our past, present and future learnings, and our inspirations for renewal and possibility.

    The lively interplay of light and colour from this piece enhances the multiple viewer perspectives, drawing people in from the street, catching the attention of those across the Market Square as well as offering a more immersive experience for those up close. The sculpture provides a stirring sense of motion, the bees actively in flight, gathering food and pollinating, a fitting metaphor for the activities of The Exchange. The sensory-rich experience of the installation encourages feelings of celebration, curiosity, optimism, and well -being– abundant potential to highlight the goals of this meaningful project.

    The inclusion of bees as an artistic choice provides a direct nod to the significance of our farm communities. Just as these agricultural practitioners serve key roles in our lives, bees play a hugely significant ecological role locally and globally. Bees are among the most numerous and efficient pollinator species in the world. Pollinators help plants survive, and we need plants as they:

    • Produce ⅓ of our food supply
    • Provide ½ of the world’s oils, fibers and other raw materials
    • Are used to create many medicines
    • Provide food and cover for wildlife
    • Keep waterways clean
    • Prevent soil erosion
    • Produce the oxygen we breathe
    • Absorb CO2, counteracting global climate change

    Honey bees are social insects living in large and productive social colonies not unlike the vision for The Exchange. They are highly evolved insects engaging in a variety of complex tasks accomplished through a well-defined system of communication and cooperation. The social structure of the colony is maintained in part by the distribution of chemical pheromones that act as a social ‘glue’ that unifies and provides an individual identity to the colony. Networking ‘dances’ direct the activities necessary for survival. This interdependence within the bee colony is symbolic of the potential ideal functioning of the Exchange community and the citizens it serves - each bee is valuable to the community AND each bee’s well-being is dependent on the community. Each bee is unique and diverse, while still contributing to the common good – an inspiring and relevant narrative for the arts and culture, food and farming
    peoples of the NFX.

    The rich history of Niagara Falls and the Main and Ferry neighbourhood has included many waves of challenge and evolution, even the most recent pandemic. The constant throughout these chronicles is that of a strong local human spirit, captured sculpturally by the emergence of the hand, compelling in its imagery of both strength and vision. The bright, welcoming fingers represent human connection, a key foundation to underpin and capture the stories and dreams of this diverse community. The intentional colour choices include orange in acknowledgment of the traditional territory of various Indigenous peoples as well as the commitment to truth and reconciliation especially connected to the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples. Purple celebrates LGBTQ+ and green recognizes environmental priorities.

    The paintbrushes add a striking contrast in vertical form and represent the arts as a whole. The grouping of brushes creates a graceful, symmetric sphere offering its colourful bristles as a metaphor for flowers. The bees feeding and exchanging pollen reflect the goals of The NFX - the cross-pollination of ideas, the ‘nectars’ of creativity. The bristle colours are those most attractive to native pollinators and are the colours associated with Pride. The black choice for paintbrush handles is representative of the thousands of black freedom seekers who started their Canadian lives at the end of the Underground Railroad. This piece of history informs and ‘paints’ a thoughtful and hopeful story line. The circles of energy surrounding the ‘bouquet’ of brushes adds a subtle balance to the installation. This unifying element captures some of the key tenets of The NFX – vibrancy and motion, circular exchange, and inclusion.

    Innovation and Engagement

    As I approach this sculpture, I believe the innovation that I bring to my work lies in ‘presenting a concept in a new way’ or ‘re-imagining something familiar and transforming it’. If my design choices for ‘Creating a Buzz’ can make the expression of this concept more holistic and accessible, that feels progressive. And if the approach inspires us to see ourselves and our world in a new light, I believe that to be innovative.

    My primary goal with public art is to forge meaning between citizens and their spaces, and meaning must start with engagement. I believe the design of ‘Creating a Buzz’ will engage viewers by offering:

    • the attraction of vivid colours, contrasting form, repetition, balance, organic harmony and a playful connection to the ‘buzz’ of The Exchange
    • a human connection to the stories of Niagara Falls and its diverse citizenry
    • non-threatening, inviting art that allows every visitor to find some aspect of their own experience reflected back to them
    • a fresh, unique perspective, a catalyst towards critical thought and new learnings
    • potential feelings of inclusion, optimism, curiousity, engagement, and pleasure
    • a celebratory landmark that reflects the goals of The NFX and its community
    • Educational extensions - the role of bees in food security, colour symbolism, blacksmithing as an historical art practice of the area (QR code on the plaque as a possibility)

    As a side note of interest, blacksmithing has a significant historic role in this area – it is always an honour to share my contemporary rendition of an ancient art practice.

    I believe this sculpture depicts The NFX as the cultural and social heart of the community. It leverages the unique physical space for the art in balance with the cultural qualities, history, and spirit of Niagara Falls and the Main and Ferry district. This piece offers stimulating yet relatable art, acting as a mirror of the times and bringing life and human connection to the built environment. Not only will this piece add interest and joy, but it will serve as an inclusive, iconic landmark for the Niagara Falls Exchange.

  • FINALIST | Lily Otasevic

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    Lily Otasevic, Dia·log
    View Image Gallery of Lilly Otasevic's Renderings
    Artist Statement:

    From my main focus on word ‘exchange’ representing exchange of goods, words and ideas, and following my objectives, I have explored the nuances of the word DIALOGUE.

    With my artwork, I’d like to inspire a viewer to think about dialogue, as one of the most important forms of human interaction. To think especially about the importance of sincere dialogue in contemporary time, where the speed of technology and life transforms communication into instant images and ersatz identities, for the most part. To think how contemporary communication, more often than not, assumes more sinister forms, one being the negative extreme, namely the – cancel culture. Cancel someone or something one doesn’t like, just like that. Don’t discuss, don’t try to understand.

    How did we get here?

    The proposed artwork consists of two parts.

    Part One - Planter B

    The planter B sculpture contains 4 sections of a circle extruded vertically. The four vertical elements represent seasons, elements (water, air, earth and fire) and the four sides of the world. They are painted according to traditional representations. This represents our connection to and dependence on nature.

    These four sections contain cut-out sentences with lights inside for night views. The lights could be white of colored and could be programmed to be static or to change dynamically.

    Explanation of sentences

    1. “#WalkWithMe” | The Walk With Me - draws inspiration from a Two Row wampum symbolism (found in the Two Row Wampum treaty between the First Nations and European immigrants) that promotes all Nations walking together, in parallel, with respect, compassion and understanding to cultivate an inclusive community for our shared future.
    This sentence is a direct historical reference. It is represented as a hashtag connecting it to contemporary time. The hashtag character lines are extended becoming the parallel lines emphasizing the walking in parallel. The Walk With Me represents that even if our paths and or cultures do not cross we can still try to cultivate understanding and acceptance.

    2. “TalkWithMe” | The Talk With Me – serves to emphasize the power of dialogue with the message – always talk, discuss, exchange rather than having lack of exchange potentially leading to misunderstanding.

    3. “IHearYou” | The I Hear You – aims to encourage active listening in interpersonal or intercultural relations. Not just listening but trying to understand, offering compassion and help.

    4. “IAmYou” | The I Am You – symbolises our similarities. Even though we are all unique individuals, on a fundamental level we are all the same, humans, with senses, reason, feelings etc. The I Am You aims to remind people to put themselves in other people’s shoes, to try to understand other people’s perspectives and circumstances.

    All together these sentences serve a universal purpose – to promote dialogue, understanding and real connections which in turn can bring prosperity of humankind, on every level.

    The way the sections and sentences are positioned enable visitors to read sentences when approaching from any direction, whether from the direction of plaza, market or street.

    ** Please note that this sculpture may eliminate the need for light bollard in planter B.

    Part Two - The Main Street Plaza

    The sculptural group in Main Street Plaza is comprised of a word Dialog with a hashtag character. It refers to dialogue but spelled in a more tech way in order to relate to contemporary time. This sculpture reiterates the message of the sculpture in Planter B – the importance of dialogue and the power of interpersonal and intercultural exchange. Be it exchange of words, thoughts, ideas or goods it serves to emphasize the overall nature of the Main Street and Perry street neighborhood. The sculptural elements / letters double up as an urban furniture too. This feature serves to incentivize the visitors to have a seat, pause and reflect.

    The letters are arranged in a semi-circle in order to promote dialog between the people and awareness of other people that may be sitting near by. If people sit at round table, they all are facing each other, similar effect can be achieved by a semi-circle arrangement to a certain extent. The letters face plaza and the main building where Café and artist studios will be located. This sculptural group also faces diagonally the sculpture in planter B establishing the ‘dialogue’ between the two.

    The sculpture is legible from the plaza and this arrangement aims to attract visitors from the street to come to plaza and take a look at the sculpture. The sculpture is also conceived as a spot for interaction between visitors and the sculpture. It invites visitors to stop by, pause and reflect or have a conversation with a friend on their way to Café, studios or market, as well as to stop by leaving from those places.

    Another feature is that Dialog is divided in two parts. The ‘Dia’ part refers to “across” again implying position and possible exchange between two sides.

    The “Log” part refers to a verbal record of events, relating frequently to historical events as well – things to remember.

    Conclusion

    Overall, both Part One and Part two sculpture are conceived to facilitate greater visitor interaction among themselves and with different part of the whole Niagara Falls Exchange. The sculptural elements support one another in carrying the main message. They complement each other and offer different sensory, intellectual, and emotional component.

    At the same time, each sculpture can exist independently.

  • FINALIST | Nicholas Crombach

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    Nicholas Crombach, Flock
    View Image Gallery of Nicholas Crombach's Renderings
    Artist Statement:

    My intent for the Niagara Falls Exchange Public Art Project is to reflect the local ecosystem and multifaceted culture of Niagara Falls and the NFX. My proposal for this project, entitled Flock, consists of a cast aluminum sculpture depicting three migratory songbirds frozen in flight. Rendered at a larger than life scale and positioned to create a roughly pyramidal shape, these unique yet unified birds represent three of the many diverse bird species who migrate to and from the Niagara region each year, much like the tourists and locals who travel to and from Niagara in various seasons.

    The three birds represented in this small patchwork flock are each distinct species. The species depicted are the scarlet tanager, the black-throated blue warbler, and the American goldfinch—all of which are migratory birds whose breeding grounds, their conceptual “home base”, includes the Niagara region.

    Much like the artists, farmers, and other members who will make up the NFX community, these birds are quite different, yet they form a collective nonetheless. The dynamic positions of the birds speak to an exciting, thriving community. The composition offers varying points of interest on the sculpture, which can be enjoyed from any angle. The different stages of flight in which each bird is represented further echoes the unique experiences of each viewer.

    The sculpture will be positioned with the birds facing Main Street on the designated sculpture plinth in the Main Street Plaza. The sculpture's colour will stay true to the bright silver/grey colour of the cast aluminum which they have been made from. To Further enhance the sculpture I propose that the designated plinth be cast in a charcoal coloured concrete. The darkening of the plinth will provide contrast with the bright silver grey aluminum sculpture and result in a bold presence and enhance the artwork's strong visual impact. The dark concrete plinth will complement the dark facade of the NFX buildings, while the pyramidal shape of the birds will echo the architecture of the iconic repeating peaks. The monochrome aesthetic of the birds will lend a sense of unity to their contrasting visual forms, underscoring the notion of integration through the evolution of this Creative Hub. Furthermore, the monochromatic approach offers practical value, as the American goldfinch aluminum will ensure long-term maintenance is both easy and sustainable. Cast aluminum is highly durable, and the textured surface will provide a pleasing tactile element to the sculpture.

    The birds will be well-suited to their environment, complementing the thriving arts community while sitting beautifully amongst the flora growing in the plaza’s planters. Flock will take on a different character in the changing seasons, offering a picturesque notion of birds in a field in the spring and summer, and emulating the beautiful and stoic monochrome aesthetic in snowy winters. These friendly yet graceful creatures will invite viewers to sit along the planters with them, perhaps taking a break from their activities to rest and enjoy the surrounding environment. I imagine people of all ages telling their friends and family members to “meet me at the birds!”

    The Niagara Falls Exchange will be a space where artists working in a broad variety of disciplines can collaborate and enhance their practices through peerto-peer learning and exchange. Furthermore, the communities of artists, farmers, local business people, and visitors will join together to develop a unique and flourishing community. In this way, a cooperative and productive community will be fostered, while at the same time the individuals’ talents and products will shine. Much like the birds who develop a sense of cohesion yet starkly differ in their composition, the artists, farmers, and business people who produce and sell at the NFX will find their work highlighted and uplifted within a lively community.

    Flock seeks to celebrate life, and the notion of gathering, while also reminding us of our duties to our natural environment. Climate change and shrinking habitats alter and disrupt migration patterns, endangering many species of birds and other animals. The scarlet tanager’s breeding range corresponds with North America’s eastern deciduous forest, a critically important area for conservation which saw devastating impacts in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries at the hands of colonial settlers. As such, this celebratory piece also acts as a reminder to preserve and cherish our natural environment, and to continue working to rectify our past injustices.

    The Niagara River, deemed a globally significant Important Bird Area, is famous for its proliferation of migrating birds. It is a place where birds from across the globe can be found throughout the year. The seasonal migration of many such bird species is not dissimilar to that of the visitors and residents of Niagara Falls—and, furthermore, of much of Canada. Visitors from all around the globe travel to Niagara to experience the natural wonders of the falls, especially in the summer. Conversely, many Canadians enjoy a tradition of vacationing during the winter months, typically to warmer climates, before returning to the northern places they call home. The bird species depicted in Flock have breeding grounds spanning across large tracts of North America, primarily contained in southern Canada and the northern United States, and migrate to Central and South America in the winter. There are species who travel to and from the region known to also visit West Africa and Asia such as the northern wheatear. Flock celebrates both notions of home and of intercultural exchange. A gathering site for humans and birds from across the world, Niagara Falls is a place of global connection, much like the NFX will soon be a space for connection, collaboration and creative incubation.

    The visual subject matter further underscores this celebration of life both locally and globally by utilizing specific yet universal forms. The three bird species depicted here are of local varieties, yet the bird itself is an animal with which all are familiar. Birds are symbols of peace, strength, and hold a range of other meanings in various cultures. Adults can enjoy the nuances of the work, while children can wonder at the oversized birds, taking pictures with their giant bird friends in front of the NFX Market Hall. The subject matter of Flock is accessible and easily identifiable, yet multi-layered and in many ways quite specific to the community fostered at the Niagara Falls Exchange.

    Flock commemorates the inherent beauty found in spaces and events which bring people together, while at the same time reflecting the natural environment and reminding viewers of our collective duty to protect it. As such, it reflects Niagara Falls itself as a destination which enables vibrant intermingling of cultures and communities in combination with stunning natural wonders and critical ecosystems.

  • FINALIST | Slipper Liu Studio

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    Slipper Liu Studio, The Niagara Falls Husk Dance
    View Image Gallery of Slipper Liu Studio's Renderings
    Artist Statement:

    We value this opportunity to create a relevant and interactive artwork to intrigue and capture the imagination of the Niagara Falls population. We focus on embodying the spirit of the arts, music, food vendors and community’s history to engage a diverse range of viewers of all ages. Our design responds fully to the project’s intent by creating a relevant community feature sculpted as a largerthan-life installation to deliver a bold visual statement. Sculpted in the permanence of stone, the installation is ideal to withstand the severity of our Canadian climate and the rigors of public use. Our concept encapsulates The Niagara Falls Exchange’s historical context of the Haudenosaunee, early pioneers with a strong connection to the Farming community, wine industry, arts, and music of the diverse Niagara Falls community of today. The Niagara Falls Husk Dance is an emblematic cultural destination sparking photo opportunities as social engagement and memory keepsakes.

    Corn husk dolls have been made by Northeastern Native Americans since the beginnings of corn agriculture thousands of years ago and were adopted by early European settlers and freed African Slaves. The most prevalent story of why corn husk dolls have no faces. exemplify the story telling traditions taught to Haudenosaunee children wise in lessons of hubris and vanity. The medium of the corn husk allowed for easy creations and clearly shows the historical exchange of ideas between peoples. While corn husk dolls were made predominantly as toys for children, they were also used for healing ceremonies, protection of crops, homes, livestock, and health. These dolls symbolise fertility of the land for their inhabitants not only in North America but also in many parts of eastern Europe where these unique doll styles are still sold in markets and craft houses today. In Ontario and around North America, workshops for corn husk dolls are readily available with many websites showing how to make them.

    In the late fall of 2021 Paul Slipper (partner), along with his family visited the Niagara Falls Exchange to better understand the requirements of this project. His family and friends who are long time residents of the Niagara region has contributed to the underlying basis of our concept development.

    The Proposal

    The Niagara Falls Husk Dance proposal is founded on our classical educational background and numerous projects incorporating the figurative form. Our goal for this project is to express in the fine art classical vernacular a representation of a children’s toy form and translating it into a monumental sculpture celebrating Niagara Falls’ creativity. The sculpture is composed of two six-foot-high plus corn husk dolls dressed in hand made clothing and carved in Canadian granite. This gateway concept welcomes visitors by paying homage to the historical, local, indigenous culture, music, crafts, food, and environmental sustainability.

    The Niagara Falls Husk Dance narrative tells a story of our current everyday life with the male corn husk dancer taking a photo with his cell phone of the audience. The female corn husk dancer is toasting the harvest at the end of grape growing season. These human actions strongly relate to the community today and will draw viewers into the story as both figures have a universal appeal to the diverse ethnic background of the Niagara Falls region.

    Granite is a very noble material that invites touch and feel by the human hand. The surface quality we apply to granite is similar to a painter who creates a defined brush stroke to add depth and texture to the painting. With extensive understanding and knowledge in stone we continually strive to manifest the artist’s hand in the finished surface to bring energy and vitality to the form. While the brush strokes in granite is vital in creating texture, the pose expresses intent, movement, and meaning -all elements to connect the viewer to the overall concept. Examples of our stone carving skill can be viewed on the sample provided.

    The corn husk dolls’ agricultural roots materialized in Canadian granite placed in the landscaped planter creates a harmonious integration with the surrounding natural foliage and trees. This balance connects the artwork’s theme, the material choice and the planters’ greenery to bond the site and context.

    Lighting is an important component to maintain the artwork’s overall bold and visual sensory daytime impact. Utilizing the nearby light bollard for the power source four inground LED lights located in the concrete foundation will illuminate the artwork from underneath.

    Lighting the figures from below creates a light quality that will enhance the inaudible musical dancing movement of each figure. Colour options are available for special occasions as the needs arise. The colour choices are extensive, one example is the Lgbtqia2s+ rainbow colours and another is the colour in the Niagara Falls flag. We look forward to finalizing these options with the committee.

    The Niagara Falls Exchange Project is an exciting opportunity to create a unique identity for the outdoor plaza at the Exchange. We are excited to move forward with The Niagara Falls Husk Dancers to contribute towards the festive ambience of the Niagara Falls Exchange

  • Pre-Qualified Artists Named

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    Community members and members of our Public Art Advisory Task Force worked closely with our Procurement department to select a short list of artists to complete a design for the Main Street Courtyard at the Exchange.

    We are really excited to announce the following artist/artist teams who will now develop concepts that will be presented to the adjudication committee.

    The short listed artists are:

    Kyle Thornley

    Germaine Koh

    Nicholas Crombach

    Slipper Liu - maryannliu.com & paulslipper.com

    Lilly Otasevic

    We would like to thank all of the artists who submitted for the opportunity to be a part of this exciting project. These artist/artist teams will now be given time to develop site specific concepts for the Exchange. We will be sharing these on this platform.

  • RFPQ closes

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    We are quite excited to have a great list of applicants for this great project. The RFPQ closed last week. The next stages includes our work with the adjudication panel comprised of members of the Public Art Advisory Task Force and City Staff. Once that adjudication is complete, five artists will be asked to develop more details plans and designs for the space and present that to the adjudication panel. We will be sharing those plans on this page.


    The qualified applicants who move on to the adjudication stage:


    Aligned Vision Group

    Bermingham Studios

    Ferruccio Sardella

    Germaine Koh Studio Ltd.

    Kyle Thornley

    LeuWebb Projects

    Lilly Otasevic

    Nate Nettleton

    Nicholas Crombach

    Opus Art Projects

    Robert Cram

    Signature Sign & Image

    Slipper Liu Studio

    Stephen Cruise

    Studio Iregular Inc.

    Ted Fullerton

  • Focus Group Report

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    On February 2nd, 2021 we met with local stakeholders and residents to get a feeling of the neighbourhood and their thoughts on what the atmosphere and features of the area that artists might want to look at for their development of public art at the eXchange.

    The question proposed was; What unique and meaningful stories, qualities and characteristics of the Main and Ferry neighbourhood do you think artists should be asked to reflect in proposals for public art at the eXchange?

    Their responses can be found here


  • Call for Artists

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    We are very excited about this new project and the public art attached to the project. We know that formal tender documents by our procurement department can be intimidating. That is why we pulled out a summary of the project for you to look over. It must be repeated. This summary is not the official call out, but we thought it would be helpful.

    Check out the summary here.