In this rendering of the Alderney Gate renovation, the public art goes where the yellow box is at right.

Halifax seeking a new public art installation at Alderney Gate Public Library

Artist-led proposals for the $32,000 project are due this Wednesday, January 19.

click to enlarge Cliff Eyland's Library Cards at the Central Library. - ADAM MORK
Adam Mork
Cliff Eyland's Library Cards at the Central Library.
Behind the circulation desk at the Halifax Central Library, a massive work by the legendary artist Cliff Eyland makes your neck crane ever higher, a wave of comfort following a backbend as you feel tiny in its towering presence. Library Cards is a mixed-media piece that has proven itself to be Instagram bait and a reliable square in Halifax tourist bingo—but don’t let that let you forget what it does best of all: Turning a free, public space into a place to view and connect with art. It stands, stretching skyward, as a reminder that art belongs everywhere and that public spaces are made all the richer for these sorts of installations.

click to enlarge Jordan Bennett's Pjila'si (Welcome) at the Zatzman Sportsplex. - HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY
Halifax Regional Municipality
Jordan Bennett's Pjila'si (Welcome) at the Zatzman Sportsplex.
Still need convincing? At Dartmouth’s Zatzman Sportsplex, both body and mind stretch: The former at drop-in yoga and the latter as the eye takes in Jordan Bennett’s installation art Pjila’si (Welcome). The buzzed-about artist—who has created installation works all over North America and co-created the winning design for the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia—creates other universes inside his colour-rich works, and Pjila’si (Welcome) is no exception. Witnessing it in sweatpants en route to a weights session is effectively seeing a visual resume highlight of one of the most important living artists in the country. The piece sees Bennett working with what would become a recurring font of inspiration as it tells a story of K'jipuktuk (Halifax) from a Mi'kmaq perspective. (Maybe you’ll wish you’d dressed for the occasion, but even if you don’t, the transformative effect it has on both the building and your mind is undeniable.)

In November, Halifax announced a third opportunity for another public art installation like these. This time, the call-out is for a wall-mounted work to grace and enliven the new entryway to Alderney Gate and the Alderney Gate Public Library. The request for artist-led proposals is offering a total budget of $32,000—and the deadline for submission is January 19. “A peer selection panel comprised of arts sector representatives and community representatives will review all application materials,” the press release adds. The selected work will be judged based on a combination of feasibility, artistic merit, approach and the applicant's expertise related to the work. The winning artwork will be installed this July.

About The Author

Morgan Mullin

Morgan is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she writes about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She’s been with The Coast since 2016.

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