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.
Created by artist collective Native Art Department International (NADI), Double Gazebo (Markham) is a temporary public artwork newly commissionedby the City of Markham’s Public Art Program and presented in partnership with the Varley Art Gallery of Markham.
Now on view through November 28, 2021
Outdoor courtyard, Varley Art Gallery of Markham
216 Main Street Unionville, Markham
In parallel with the physical installation, NADI has also programmed a series of online activations titled Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for
Sunset. These five-part activations —With ARs, With Artists, With
Movement, With Sound, With Star Knowledge—will be launched on the project website on the first day of each month from July through November.
Unfolding over the course of nine weeks, from October 13 through December 8, 2020, “Becoming Public Art: Working Models and Case Studies for Art in Public” is a virtual summit co-curated by Markham’s Public Art Curator Yan Wu and Principle of ART+PUBLIC UnLtd Rebecca Carbin. Conceived in the context of the City’s recently approved “Public Art Master Plan 2020-2024,” the summit aims to develop resources for those interested in the practice of contemporary public art, from the maker to the producer, from professionals of the field to general public.
In a series of online lectures, panel discussions, and interviews, an esteemed international group of 46 participants (artists, architects, curators, fabricators, planners, and administrators) presented the broad range of perspectives that shape public art making today. Framed by current discussions happening at the intersection of contemporary art, public realm issues and urbanism, the summit features working models and case studies that address the challenges and opportunities faced by those working in this constantly evolving field.
The entire program was archived and is available online.
Homework is a webinar series that explores the practical knowledge needed to conceptualize and produce public art projects. The series is co-produced by Markham Public Art, the Varley Art Gallery of Markham, and public art consulting firm ART+PUBLIC UnLtd. This is an opportunity to hear from professionals working in the discipline. Homework has the goal to create a dialogue that is reflective, imaginative, and generative.
The history of rendering tells a story of an entanglement between technology, critical reflection, and the shaping of life. In this webinar “Forms of Rendering”, artist David Rokeby guides participants through the conceptual dimensions of rendering and what it can be, especially in the digital sphere. Architectural historian Marcin Kedzior’s presentation will show how historical influences endure in the present and how they enable alternate ways of thinking. Moderated by architect Vivian Lee.
In this webinar “Proposal Design”, Chloë Catán, Public Art Manager at Waterfront Toronto, and David Turnbull, Director of Public Art & Conservation at Edmonton Arts Council, share insights on how to design a convincing public art proposal, and the landscape of current and future public art opportunities. Moderated by curator Crystal Mowry.
In this webinar, artist Myfanwy MacLeod speaks with Catherine Machado, former Public Art Conservator for the City of Toronto, to reflect on the complexities of material choices and fabrication processes in the design of public art projects. How is materiality thought about by artists? How does that differ from the conservators' role of preservation? Moderated by artist Jason Lujan.
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.
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.