Tremont Plaza Public Artwork
Tremont Plaza Public Artwork
In April, 2021, the Town of Collingwood issued a call to artists seeking professional artists or artist teams to create a permanent Public Artwork for the Tremont Plaza. The plaza was originally identified as a location for public art during the 2010 Tremont and Municipal parking lot expansion and a public art reserve was established to accumulate funds for this purpose.
A Public Art Working Group was created specifically for this project. This group is comprised of art professionals, representatives from the community, Collingwood Public Library, Tremont and Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts. Their role is to provide key input including developing the theme and vision for the project and selecting the artwork.
Artwork Theme and Vision
The theme is to celebrate LGBTQ2S+ life. The project encouraged artwork that considers and engages experiences of resilience, strength, affirmation, belonging, transformative joy and other topics that acknowledge the journey of LGBTQ2S+ individuals in the community. Viewers of all ages and diverse lived experiences should take away an overall sense of love and inclusion. The theme for this project was originally proposed by the Rainbow Club of South Georgian Bay.
The Collingwood Public Library was designed around a central internal corridor that ties together various library spaces and serves as a gallery to foster the community’s exposure to local art. Known as ‘Art Walk’, this east-west passageway begins in the library’s entrance plaza along Ste. Marie Street, travels through the building, and terminates in the Tremont Plaza. The ‘Art Walk’ concept was originally conceived with a public art piece as its physical and visual terminus. It is expected that the artwork will reflect a contemporary artistic excellence and be conceptually timeless and enduring. It is envisioned that the artwork will be a showpiece that evokes emotion and moves the viewer. Ideally, it will speak to all ages and abilities and encourage exploration, touch and conversation.
Applications were received from 24 Ontario artists, four of whom were selected to provide a detailed proposal. The four final proposals are currently being reviewed by the Public Art Working Group with the aim to make a final selection by the end of September. The selection process includes presentations and interviews with each artist.
Collingwood’s Public Art Program
The Town of Collingwood is dedicated to enhancing arts and culture as an integral part of the community. Through the acquisition of diverse artwork the program aims to enrich the lives of Collingwood residents and visitors by enhancing public spaces, fostering cultural identity and pride, promoting creativity, and encouraging dialogue among citizens.
Public art is recognized as being an important cultural overlay to Collingwood’s urban growth, as it has the ability to connect residents and visitors with the essence of the community through the expression of its stories, culture, history, and values. This is recognized extensively in the Town’s Urban Design Manual which provides recommendations and requirements for public art as a thread throughout. From this urban design perspective, public art is essential to providing rich and diverse experiences for residents and visitors alike. If positioned strategically along both primary and secondary pedestrian spaces, art can effectively expand the perceived limits of the downtown core to encourage exploration, discovery, and whimsy. These are critical ingredients to a healthy downtown, as creating a sense of expectation and discovery often results in increased visitation, lingering, return-visits and overall community walkability.