Yes, the art is ready to move into the new Waterfront Arts District building. And as of this week, the harbourside arts and culture pavilion is one step closer to being ready for it.
After multiple submissions from around the globe, yesterday the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia announced its top three picks for what it describes on its website as "a new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and public space on the Halifax Waterfront as part of a new Waterfront Arts District."
The goal, as per a press release sent out by the AGNS yesterday, is to "reinvent the idea of an art gallery and arts district." AGNS's CEO Nancy Noble said in the release: "We hope that all Nova Scotians will engage with us throughout this process to ensure that we have a space that is reflective of all communities in our province." (Watch the full unveiling Sep 24 at 6pm via YouTube for a chance to comment or submit feedback on each design through the AGNS website.)
Check out the three finalists:
The New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro helped create the famous Chelsea Highline, a public park built on an abandoned elevated railroad. It also worked on the Museum of Modern Art's recent renovation. In short, it knows how to blend public space, green space and art space like few others in the world.
We think it's a safe bet that Webb-Campbell, as the editor of Visual Arts News, (Atlantic Canada's only all visual art mag) knows what a gallery should be, do and look like. Here, it looks like a work of art that'll be filled with works of art.
Omar Gandhi is an award-winning architect who counts the New York Times amongst his fans. Jordan Bennett is a Sobey Art Award long-listed artist, whose 2019 AGNS exhibit of bold colours and Mi’kmaq quillwork was something truly never seen before in a major Canadian gallery.
Here's what Bennett said about his team's design on Instagram:
"Our integrated design team have rooted our design in place, this place, Mi’kma’ki. For us, Rebuilding the model of a public art gallery means truly breaking the mold of what has come before. Our proposed design for The New Art Gallery of Nova Scotia presented us with an unprecedented opportunity to reflect on the deep history of where it stands. As a team we aim to not only rebuild the model of an art gallery; we should set the example and be the model that others look to for a space to be rooted in the territory that it lives in, consider the history and build a new way forward."
The final design will be announced by the gallery in October.