“It is priceless.”
Edmonton artist Stephanie Jonsson beams as she looks up at the Muttart stop of the Valley Line Southeast LRT.
“This is my first public art project,” says Jonsson. “I really like being able to offer something that people can see every day.”
Jonsson created two brightly colored aluminum sculptures mounted on the canopy on either side of the platform. She was inspired by the flora next door at the Muttart Conservatory at 9626 96A St.
“It’s almost an underwater theme when you first look at it, a bit like algae,” says David Turnbull, director of public art and conservation at the Edmonton Arts Council.
You can see more artwork at Davies Station and three stops along the Valley Line Southeast LRT on Our Edmonton this week Saturday at 10 a.m., Sunday at noon and Monday at 11 a.m. on CBC TV and CBC Gem.
It’s an example of artists entering early in the design and construction process – in this case six years ago – and truly considering space and the relationship to art, says Turnbull.
Art is already in place or planned for all 11 stops and one station along the Southeast LRT of the $ 2 billion Valley Line, which is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2022.
The budget for art on the entire Valley Line LRT project is $ 2.6 million, says Turnbull.
Works by local, regional and Canadian artists are now featured on everything from bridges to ramps and stops along the 8-mile line between Mill Woods and downtown Edmonton.
Turnbull says the only commission that went to an international artist was Shan Shan Sheng for the solid ceramic colored glass Fluid landscape at the Davies LRT station southwest of the intersection of 75th Street and Wagner Road.
Sheng traveled from San Francisco and toured the Capital Region “and really got a feel for what it was like to be here in the Prairies, so that’s her vision of when she came to Edmonton” , said Turnbull.
Other major projects include over 400 paintings on the ceiling of the Tawatinâ Pedestrian Bridge over the North Saskatchewan River by Métis artist David Garneau, originally from Edmonton but now living in Regina.
“When you cross this bridge, you will actually learn some of the stories of the history of the place and what is important to Aboriginal people,” says Turnbull.
The trail systems at each end of the pedestrian bridge through Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir parks are expected to be completed by the end of November and the bridge will be open to the public in the coming weeks, according to Transed, the construction company in charge of the LRT project.