Markham's Public Art Program was first initiated in 2003 and formalized in 2012. Since 2013, five permanent artworks have been commissioned through the program, with two more currently in progress. In addition, the program has facilitated a series of community art initiatives in collaboration with the City's Public Realm section. In the fall of 2019, Markham City Council approved its Public Art Master Plan 2020-2024, and a related Implementation Plan in winter 2020. The objectives of the program are to inspire people to live, work, visit and invest in Markham; to celebrate the city's diverse cultures and heritage from multiple points of view; and to connect residents to Markham's built and natural environment.
Developed by the Workshop Architecture with Markham Public Art, Making Our Markham: Public Art Master Plan 2020-2024 is the blueprint for a Public Art Program that celebrates the cultural diversity of Markham, fosters Markham's role as a high tech capital of Canada, promotes an engaged, thriving and vibrant City, and contributes to the building of complete communities. Seven recommendations in the report are intended to direct the development and implementation of a successful public art program including prioritizing potential sites and opportunities for new public art projects in Markham and identifying best practices to administer and implement public art projects.
To read our plan, click here
As part of the public engagement efforts in making the master plan, Markham Public Art organized an evening of presentations, discussions and a hands-on workshop.
Making our Mark: Markham's Public Art Master Plan Coming Soon
Helena Grdadolnik, Director of Workshop Architecture, gave a presentation on the development of "Making our Markham: Public Art Master Plan 2020-2024".
Let's Talk Public Art!
A panel of professionals shared ways of working in the realm of public art and their vision for Markham: (i) Mary Anne Barkhouse: A Kwakiutl artist whose installations evoke consideration of the self as a response to history and environment. Her public artwork Quarry can be found at Toogood Pond in Markham; (ii) Andrea Carson Barker: A former art critic, member of the Toronto Public Art Commission and member of the Markham business community; (iii) Xiaojing Yan: A Chinese-Canadian visual artist based in Markham whose work marries Chinese heritage with Canadian experience through the lens of a first-generation immigrant.