Art meant to engage public

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Story and images: Adriana Pacheco

The three maquettes entered in the competition.

The City of Oshawa is asking for citizens’ opinions, as they stage a competition to find the newest piece of art to be displayed in City Hall.
“The City and the Art and History Committee had invited artists to send in submissions for a piece of art to go in the new City Hall area,” said Laura Suchan, Director of the Oshawa Community Museum and Archives, who is on the panel to decide what piece of art will be showcased. “It was a commissioned piece; the money was donated by project managers who were involved with the construction of city hall.”
A tile picture of Colonel McLaughlin by Jarin Taz Ahmed of Pickering.

Suchan said the committee, which includes Greg Murphy, Dean of the School of Media Art and Design at Durham College and Linda Jasma, curator of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, went through all the submissions and then picked their top three.
Star Sculpture, by Ron Baird of Beaverton

Those artists were then invited to send in their maquette or examples of their idea’s, which are currently on display at City Hall.
“We are inviting the public to look at them and to kind of visualize what they will look like in the space,” said Suchan, who added the public can fill out a ballot, provided at the display and vote on  what they would like to see in the area.
She said although the committee will make the final decision, the ballots will be taken into consideration.
“We want to engage the Oshawa public more in art and history.”
Entry from Toni Hamel of Oshawa

Suchan said the museum became involved with the competition after being invited to join the Art and History Committee at City Hall. “There are several areas within the new City Hall which are going to feature exhibit space. So we, along with the McLaughlin Gallery were invited to be involved with this.”
She said her organization is currently looking after the display cases with the art and will also be opening a new exhibit about the Williams Piano Company next week, in time for the first City Council meeting. She hopes these new exhibits will interest the public in Oshawa’s history.
The Competition to decide which maquette will be turned into a larger piece of work will run until mid-January. The winner will be given $9,000 to complete the work, which will be installed into City Hall in the spring.

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