New Central Library Public Art Installation Underway

    · 4 min read

    International artist Christian Moeller’s playful art installations arrive onsite

    Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC)—lead developer of Calgary’s New Central Library (NCL), draws closer to completion of the five-year construction program with the installation of its delightful public art pieces by international artist Christian Moeller.

    “Today marks the first of a multi-day installation of the interior and exterior public art installations for the New Central Library,” says Michael Brown, president and CEO, CMLC. “When we announced Christian Moeller as the selected artist for the library in April of this year, we had a very positive response to his playful and colourful designs so today we are thrilled to see his artistic vision come to life onsite at the library.”

    Now in the finishing stages of construction, under budget and right on schedule for its November 1, 2018 Grand Opening, the New Central Library’s dramatic architecture and design will be enhanced by Moeller’s installations, which includes an exterior three-piece sculpture entitled ‘TRIO’ and an interior “book wall” that employs nearly 11,000 books whose spines, in 12 different colours, create the image of a fish.

    The installation of ‘TRIO’ will commence today on the library’s east side and will require three to four days for each of the three sculptures to be installed and tested. Each piece measures nine to 10 metres tall and moves like a pendulum to create a visual choreography around the library’s expansive outdoor plaza space.

    To assist in the installation of the thousands of books required to create the book wall entitled ‘FISH’, a group of enthusiastic volunteers were selected following an open call for volunteers in mid-August. “There is so much excitement leading up to the opening of the library, we created this volunteer program to give a handful of library lovers a chance to be a part of a major public art installation and a sneak peek behind the scenes of the library’s final stages of construction,” adds Clare LePan, director of marketing and communications, CMLC. “We had a great response to the volunteer call and we are so pleased to have the helping hands of the community assisting in this installation.”

    The volunteer program for the interior installation began this morning and the team of five will work together over the next two-three days to complete the installation. The book wall is approximately three metres (10 feet) tall by 14 m (45 ft) wide. It will be located on the third floor of the library.

    Christian Moeller was selected through a robust and multi-staged selection process initiated by CMLC in 2014 that drew 239 responses from artist and artist groups all over the world. The responses were first narrowed to a list of 35 and the task of establishing a shortlist to then advance to a Request for Proposals (RFP) stage was guided by a Volunteer Art Committee. Christian Moeller was selected by the committee in April 2015, in consultation with non-voting members, for his colourful and captivating concepts that bring a playfulness and delightful sense of arrival and wonder for all visitors to enjoy, especially children.

    The budget for the commission was guided by City of Calgary’s Public Art Policy, which includes a “percent for public art” strategy for funding the acquisition, administration and management of public art in Calgary. To complete the public art installations for the New Central Library, the selected artist worked with a budget of $2 million which is inclusive of all fees, expenses, and fabrication costs, delivery and installation.

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