Local artists Carol Nasvytis, Brooke O’Connell selected for city’s first annual Park Marker Program

The City of Burlington’s Public Art Program is pleased to announce that a jury has selected artists Carol Nasvytis and Brooke O’Connell as the local artists for the first annual Park Marker Program, a new program designed to showcase and develop local talent.

Building on the success of the Burlington Mural Project, the Park Marker Program will be an annual program that commissions local artists to create small-scale sculptures in neighbourhood parks throughout the city. In addition to providing paid commission opportunities to local artists, the Park Marker Program provides a variety of free professional development opportunities to help build local capacity in public art development and creation.

For 2017, the artists’ creations will be placed at Berton Park, 4050 Berton Ave. and Fothergill Woods Park, 480 Fothergill Blvd., in the fall.

Artist: Carol Nasvytis

Location: Berton Park

Artwork Title: Ecological Impact

Artwork Concept

The central part of the work is a 48-inch (1.2-metre) diameter metal sphere with honeybees cut-out and connected by a pattern of dashes that wind around the sphere. The dashes are suggestive of how the honeybees “dance” to communicate with each other. In the spaces between the bees are sections of honeycomb cells. Cut into each honeycomb are depictions of fruit, flowers and vegetable crops that rely on the honeybee for pollination. The sphere will be installed in a hollow depression in the ground to create a sense of “impact” as if the sphere had been dropped from above.

Honeybees and other pollinators are an integral part of our food chain that have come under increasing threat from pesticides, habitation loss and climate change. If we were to lose them, ramifications would be felt all the way through the food chain and our natural ecosystem.

The ripples in the earth around the sphere represent the shockwaves that would be felt through our ecosystem, food production industry and ultimately our diets should we “drop the ball” and lose our honeybees.

Artist: Brooke O’Connell

Location:  Fothergill Woods Park

Artwork Title:  Bird Conversations

Artwork Concept

Three larger-than-life birds will be attached to trees in the wooded area of Fothergill Woods Park. Each bird is designed to give the appearance that they are in conversation with one another. Recorded birdcalls will be activated when a visitor enters the wooded area.

Placing the birds in the trees creates an opportunity to engage viewers in a way that draws their eyes upwards –creating a sense of intrigue and discovery, and offering an opportunity for reflection of the world around them.

The installation is an example of different types of birds interacting with each other, which can be seen as a metaphor for the cultural diversity within our community. The birds are sharing an environmental space, communicating, and living together, as humans should.

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Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

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