On Tuesday, Metrolinx held a “pop-up art gallery” at the Ontario Science Centre revealing new artworks to be integrated into six of Toronto's Crosstown LRT stations. Renderings of the art were on display, creating by both emerging and internationally renowned artists. Beginning with an open call to artists in November of 2015, Metrolinx received 187 applications of works for the LRT along Eglinton, creating a 14 artist short-list by January 2016. An independent panel reviewed each artist's qualifications and artwork submission, selecting a final 8 earlier this week, including artists working in a broad range of mediums based in the GTHA, Canada, and around the world.
Metrolinx created the Public Art and Amenities Framework in 2012, with the goal of “ensuring a cohesive approach to implementing integrated art across Metrolinx facilities”. The Integrated Art Policy launched in 2016 as an extension of this establishes a guideline that “1% of hard construction costs for integrated public art is mandatory for capital projects with budgets over $10-million.” Metrolinx's stated goal is to enhance the user experience through excellence in design while fostering opportunities for creative collaboration and partnerships.
Western Crosstown terminus and GO interchange Mount Dennis station is set to feature work from two Canadian artists; Hadley + Maxwell, and emerging artist Sara Cwynar.
Active since 1997, Hadley + Maxwell are known for installations, performances, and writings, reworking iconic images and traditional forms as they are expressed in pop-culture and political movements. Up to This Moment is a video installation to be visible from Eglinton Avenue, found in the upper concourse of Mount Dennis station. The work acts as an “evolving visual archive” documenting the changes of the site, including the move of the Kodak Building. The video will be screened on glass panel imprinted with text collage, and offers a “meditation on creation, destruction and renewal”.
Known primarily for photography, Sara Cwynar has exhibited her works and installations both locally and internationally. Her photos have been featured in the New York Times and the New Yorker, and was mentioned as one of Print Magazine’s “20 under 30 New Visual Artists for 2011”. Her untitled work is a brightly coloured photographic mural, displaying a collage of found images and objects. The wall-sized work is digitally printed on layered glass panels and will be mounted in a pedestrian corridor within the station.
Caledonia station, another interchange with GO service, will feature work from Janice Kerbel, an internationally known Canadian mixed-media artist. Her large scale mosaic wall titled Ride of Your Life pays homage to the historic role that signage, architecture, and design has played in rapid transit. Using hyperbolic language, the work recalls letterpress fairground poster aesthetic to evoke a sense of wonder in the viewer.
Canadian artist Douglas Coupland’s work Super Signals will be featured at Cedarvale station (presently known as Eglinton West on the University line). This Order of Canada recipient is known in Toronto for public works such as the fishing bobbers and namesake canoe in Canoe Landing Park at Concord CityPlace, and the extensive Four Seasons installations at Emerald City in North York. Super Signals is created from aluminium panels and brightly coloured concentric circles that float on a background of contrasting black and while lines. The work provides passengers with an immersive experience intended to uplift and amplify the enjoyment of being in transit.
Eglinton station, where the Crosstown interchanges with the Yonge line, will house Light from Within by Canadian artist Rodney Latourelle, known for large-scale colour installations and public works that explore the interplay of colour and physical space. Light from Within is a large panel made of dichroic and mirror glass tiles, inspired by the prismatic and reflective qualities found in minerals, crystals and gemstones. This work emphasizes the subterranean nature of rapid transit, creating a reflective backdrop and bringing light deep into the station.
Internationally exhibiting British/American artist Sarah Morris, known for brightly coloured and graphic abstract paintings, will be featured at Science Centre station with her vibrant wall painting titled Total Lunar Eclipse. The work provides an evolving spectrum of geometric colour, inviting viewer reflection on concepts of light, scale, and motion through the space by use of the lunar cycle as the basis of the painting. Science Centre station may one day provide an interchange to the Relief Line.
Kennedy Station, where the Crosstown will connect with the Bloor-Danforth line and Scarborough RT, will feature two international artists with large scale, immersive works.
Joseph Kosuth, a pioneering conceptual American artist born in 1945, creates his integrated work Locations of Meaning. The piece translates the word “meaning” into 72 languages spoken in the City of Toronto metropolitan area, laser cutting each translation into stainless steel etched tile to construct this large installation.
Emerging Polish/Canadian artist Dagmara Genda has been part of numerous exhibitions throughout Canada and the US. Her work, Reorganization of One Hedge is a site-specific artwork questioning "how things change with time”. Photographed images of a single hedge over time will hand cut and printed to a glass skylight, creating a collage to be inset into the walls of a corridor within the station.
Phil Verster, President and CEO of Metrolinx noted Tuesday that public art in transit stations is “an excellent way to improve the customer experience”. He continued by reaffirming Metrolinx’s commitment to public art, stating that including integrated art for the public to enjoy “helps build ridership and community pride in their transit system.” While 6 stations on the 19-kilometre Crosstown LRT are set to contain public art, the line—to open in 2021—will have another 19 stations or stops.
We will continue to follow developments on the Crosstown LRT as they emerge. You can find out more about what is planned in the meantime by viewing our dataBase files for certain stations, linked below. You can join in the discussion in the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.
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