Red Deer’s Canada Games Celebration Plaza could be filled with sparkling light, reflected from a wall-mounted glass-and-metal art installation.
That’s the vision of local artists Dawn Detarando and Brian McArthur, who were chosen to create the public artwork that will be a focal feature of the gathering place in downtown Red Deer.
Detarando said it’s “pretty exciting” to be creating a legacy artwork for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. “It’ll be a different project, for sure.”
McArthur is eager to try out the different possibilities that will come from using new materials — a mix of glass and aluminum.
Detarando and McArthur were among four applicants who made submissions for art proposals for the area in front of the former Central Elementary School on 48th Avenue. It’s being transformed into an outdoor celebration space for Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Although a final design has not yet been approved, the Red Deer artists who run Voyager Art and Tile, presented a concept for a wall-mounted piece that could represent a torch with a metal ribbon trailing from it like smoke.
Detarando wants to add squares of dichroic glass to create a reflective element, which would scatter sunlight across the wall and snowy square.
The artists recently toured a Calgary glass factory and saw how dichroic glass was created from thin layers of different colours. In combination, they create an iridescent effect when viewed from different angles.
“When light flashes up onto it, it could hopefully sparkle onto the snow,” Detarando said.
Red Deer’s 2019 Canada Winter Games officials declined to comment on why the local artists’ proposal was selected, preferring to wait until the concept is official approved and a public unveiling is held in August.
But Detarando and McArthur have a long track record of creating eye-catching public art. Their Red Deer creations include the brightly coloured tile mural in the G. H. Dawe Community Centre.
They also created several public art pieces in Edmonton, including a canoe-based artwork featuring explorer David Thompson, a block north of the Alberta legislature.