Victoria Park Public Art
Victoria Park Public Art
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About the Project
Content - City Hall - Projects - Victoria Park Public Art
The Victoria Park Public Art Project brings public art to the newly revitalized Victoria Park in Kingston’s Williamsville neighbourhood. The location for the artwork was selected as per the City’s Public Art Master Plan that identifies park renewal and park redevelopment as two possible site types for City capital public art projects.
The development of the public art project began in 2017 following the completion of the revitalization of Victoria Park that included the addition of a new splash pad, tennis and basketball courts and a BBQ/picnic zone that enhances the space for the community to come together to meet, talk and play. The park renewal project offered the opportunity for the City to pursue the commissioning of its first large-scale permanent public art installation in more than forty years.
A Jury that included two Kingston-based artists and two Victoria Park community members has selected the work “Horse and Cart” by Nicholas Crombach as the winning proposal. This process was facilitated by the City in keeping with the Public Art Policy.
Art type: Permanent
Location: Victoria Park
Installation is expected to be complete by the end of summer 2020.
Victoria Park is a seven-acre park in the Williamsville neighborhood, bounded by Mack Street to the north, Brock Street to the south, and from Alfred Street in the east to Albert Street in the west. The park recently underwent major upgrades and is now home to a canopy of mature silver maples and a new central plaza with a water play area, as well as a playground, baseball diamond, basketball courts, tennis courts, skating rink, water conservation garden, pedestrian bridge, and a BBQ and picnic area.
The goals of the Victoria Park Public Art Project are to install artwork that is accessible to people of all abilities and situated in a location within the park where it can be fully experienced from one of the many paved accessible paths, while also adding a new element and experience to the park.
Artist Selection Process
The commissioning of the Victoria Park Public Art Project involved a two-phase procurement process, including a Request for Information (RFI) that was issued in April 2018 and closed in May 2018, and a Request for Proposal (RFP) that was issued in October 2018 and closed in May 2019.
A jury comprised of two Kingston-based artists - Jocelyn Purdie and Teresa Carlesimo - and two Victoria Park community members - Joanne Thompson and Ulrike Bender -reviewed all submissions and shortlisted four artists and one artist collective to respond to the RFP. The jury evaluated the five proposals based on artistic excellence and creativity of approach, compliance with the objectives and requirements, appropriateness to the site and community context, maintenance and conservation requirements, budget, timeline, technical feasibility and probability of success, experience on similar projects, including reference feedback, and Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Reg. 429/7.
About Nicholas Crombach
The Jury selected artist Nicholas Crombach, an artist currently working in Kingston who has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. Crombach is a sculpture artist whose work engages with the styles and themes of European art from the Baroque to Victorian eras. Crombach’s work disrupts these historical references by looking at them through a modern lens, and adding unexpected materials and details. His work helps change our perspectives and tells new stories.
The sculpture for the Victoria Park Public Art Project, entitled “Horse and Cart” references the horse-and-buggy era in which Victoria Park was established. “Horse and Cart” takes the form of an old-fashioned, wooden children’s horse tricycle. The static representation of the toy is rendered with a realistic gesture - the horse’s head swung to one side, mouth open, and two of its legs stepping off their axles. Produced at the scale of a life-size horse, the enlarged children’s toy appears as if coming to life, transforming from an inanimate object into a trotting horse that is pulling a cart.
The sculpture could also be read as a horse transforming into a toy - mirroring the history of Victoria Park itself, once a plot of farmland which was granted to the city of Kingston for the purpose of developing a park for recreational enjoyment, and leisure activities. Shaped through research and discoveries of Williamsville’s history, “Horse and Cart” enlivens the areas past and engages the imagination of park visitors through its amusing and familiar imagery.
Staff held a public engagement session at the Memorial Centre on Apr. 13, 2019 where members of the community were invited to meet the shortlisted artists, view their proposals and provide feedback. This feedback was gathered by staff and provided to the shortlisted artists who used this information to refine their proposals before final submission.
Heading - City Hall - Projects - Project News General
April - May 2018Request for Information open
July 2018Jury meeting to select shortlisted artists
August 2018Notification to shortlisted artists
October 2018 - May 2019Request for Proposal open
November 2018Shortlisted artists site visit at Victoria Park
April 2019Public engagement session
June 2019Final Selection Jury
January 2020Artist contracted
February 2020 - July 2020Artwork fabricated
August 2020Art installed