We were politely notified yesterday in a letter that a proposal we had submitted to the City of Saint John, New Brunswick in its open public art competition, was not selected. We had collaborated with artists out west and in the states on an original idea involving stone carving, lettering and massive semi-dry stone arch construction using a unique fastening system.
Tomas Lipps, director of the Stone Foundation, ever on the look out for this sort of thing, kindly tipped me off about this contest way back in May.
The official blurb read "As part of the celebration of the 225th anniversary of The City of Saint John – Canada’s first incorporated city was pleased to invite professional artists resident in Canada to submit formal proposals to design, develop, create, deliver and install permanent exterior public artwork (“Public Art”) that would be prominently displayed along Saint John’s Harbour. The Public Art would be installed at a location on a triangular-shaped parcel of land along Saint John’s Harbour Passage, bordered by three Harbour Passage pathways and bordered above the parcel by Saint John Harbour Bridge"
The official theme for this work of art was supposed to be ' The Meeting Place'
There was a lot of form filling and as part of the lengthy description of what this tripartite structural/sculptural pieces of artwork was to look like we proposed that it was to be a celebration of the " watery elements of Saint John which were the primary ingredients in its founding. Three half-arches triumphantly spring from the earth, to meet at a central point. This dynamic assemblage of stone, 16.5 feet tall with a 30 foot diameter and weighing 25 tons was to represent the Saint John River, the Kennebecasis, and the Bay of Fundy. These individual half-arches, like the people who live surrounding these waters, are bonded by a mutual dependence. On the base of each half-arch there was to be a bas-relief panel depicting three significant periods in Saint John history:
1 Pre-European contact,
2 European settlement,
3 The Contemporary era.
The structure was to symbolize a three-point meeting place of the waters."
The jury accepted a design and awarded the commission to a local New Brunswick artist.
Ah well, maybe we can 'meet' somewhere else next year. Thanks to all those who were involved and collaborated in this proposal. You know who you are.