Unique New Public Art Works Unveiled Along RiverWalk in East Village

    · 4 min read

    Touch Traces by Cassie Suche to adorn bridge abutments and building surfaces through 2025

    Today, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation unveiled the next iteration of public art works that will adorn the bridge abutments and building surfaces on the Jack and Jean Leslie RiverWalk in East Village.

    “CMLC’s Art in the Public Realm program seeks to build a legacy of public art through installations of local, national and international significance,” says Clare LePan, VP of Marketing and Communications at CMLC. “Since 2010, four artist teams have led the creation of large public art installations in these spaces, contributing to the sense of place and community in East Village while also providing a great opportunity for local artists to realize a significant outdoor installation. Katie Green’s ‘Bridge’ has captured imaginations during its three years on RiverWalk, and we’re excited to see another local artist bring a bold new concept to life.”

    Calgarian Cassie Suche was awarded the contract following an intensive jury-led process, which evaluated 17 proposals for their artistic merit but also for their connection to East Village and the individuals who live, work and play in the district.

    “Much like the drops of water that make up a river, Cassie proposed to integrate fingerprints into swirling, interconnected patterns that reflected the dynamism of the East Village community from which they were gathered,” says jury member and Associate Curator at Contemporary Calgary, Kanika Anand. “The project thus strongly aligned with the intention of the RiverWalk Open Call.”

    The new works, called Touch Traces, is a contemporary and abstract interpretation of a hand mural, with fingerprints used as the repeating pattern in place of hands. In the concept, fingerprints serve to highlight individuality within community while showcasing the beautiful complexity of each unique print. Fingerprints also reference intimate physical touch, our tactile connection to others and to our surroundings.

    “Fingerprints have this duality of being so commonplace, but also really intimate and personal,” says artist Cassie Suche. “They’re so universal, but they’re also entirely unique, linked inextricably to our individual identities. We leave our fingerprints everywhere we go, overlapping with those of strangers and friends, connecting with one another unknowingly. I love the notion of individuality within community that this concept references.”

    The artwork was created using more than 640 fingerprints sourced from the East Village community, which Cassie collected this spring through pop-ups at the Drop-In Centre, carya Village Commons, East Village HQ, Kidko and other East Village locations. Cassie then layered, distorted and arranged the prints using a digital scanner to create the massive installations.

    CMLC would like to thank our jury for their time and careful consideration of each proposal. The volunteer jury included a past RiverWalk artist, a member from the East Village Neighbourhood Association (EVNA), representatives from local East Village businesses, a curator from Contemporary Calgary and a representative from CMLC's development team.

    Cassie is represented locally by Paul Kuhn Gallery and her previous public work, which has been displayed in murals and installations across Calgary, including most recently at Courtyard 33 in Marda Loop, explores repetition and meditative processes through abstract imagery. Her aesthetic combines linear and modular shapes with natural textures and conscious composition. Read more about Cassie and Touch Traces here.

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