By Kelli Gustafson – RogersPlace.com
“Art making can be a bit solitary so the chance to talk with people about what I do is a rare pleasure.”
On Sunday, October 2 the Edmonton Art Council’s Around Downtown Public Art Bus Tour made a stop at Rogers Place to celebrate some of the public art that is hosted inside the new arena.
Alex Janvier’s Tsa Tsa Ke K’e (Iron Foot Place) and Al Henderson’s 9 Figures in Motion with a Puck were a highlight for many on the afternoon’s tour.
“The Sunday art bus tour was a chance for the public to see the newest public art in Edmonton and to meet one of the artists responsible. I was local so it was no hardship to meet the tour and answer a few questions about my work. Art making can be a bit solitary so the chance to talk with people about what I do is a rare pleasure,” said Henderson.
When you first walk down the stairs from Ford Hall to access the public corridor between the Downtown Community Arena, Ford Hall and the LRT entrance from the north side of Rogers Place, Henderson’s 9 Figures in Motion with a Puck is sure to grab your attention.
Moving closer towards the artwork, which is positioned on the northeast side of Rogers Place, above the entrance to the Downtown Community Arena viewing area, details of the black mounted figures begin to manifest. Black paint mimics the marks left on the ice by skaters, capturing the spirit of the Downtown Community Arena and celebrating the movement and motion created on the ice.
“The work is made entirely of black forms and black marks on a white wall; it’s confusing at first. As they moved in, people began to make out what the forms were, and from there the minor details of individual figures became apparent.
“A contest developed as to who would be first to find the puck,” Henderson added.
Before entering the Downtown Community Arena on the northeast corner of Rogers Place, you will stumble upon Douglas Bentham’s Skater’s Arch. Like Henderson’s piece, this bright red, circular sculpture can also be seen as a reference to skating. The curved shapes making up the circle represent the push of a blade as it cuts into the ice.
Guests can visit Skater’s Arch on the northeast public plaza and are encouraged to use this as a meeting point or as a dynamic backdrop for photo opportunities.
Following the public corridor from the north entrance (MacEwan LRT station entrance), past the Downtown Community Arena and into Ford Hall, you will come across a spectacular 45-foot circular mosaic resting in the floor above 104 Ave — Alex Janvier’s Tsa Tsa Ke K’e (Iron Foot Place). This impressive mosaic is comprised of nearly one-million colourful tiles, creating a vibrant picture — one which Janvier says tells “stories of the area” and shares a voice of hope and reconciliation.
As one of the first displays guests observe at Rogers Place’s main entry point, Iron Foot Place is quickly becoming one of the city’s most recognizable public art installations.
Installation on an additional public artwork on the northwest public plaza outside Rogers Place will begin later this month. Essential Tree is a sculpture that will interact with the natural environment surrounding it. Stay posted to RogersPlace.com for more information on this upcoming installation!
For more information on Edmonton Public Art, to discover more art in public spaces around the city or to plan a tour, visit: EdmontonPublicArt.ca.