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Canada: Calgary Street Art

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Calgary Street Art > Canada > Americas

[Visited: July 2014]

After arriving in Calgary, I go for a walk in the city that I never really took the time to explore before. Soon enough, I walk past an iron statue of a horse, which looks unique to me in its artistic representation of the powerful animal. I then happen across a huge head, where you can walk into and out from, and through which, looking up, you can see the Bow, the tallest tower in Calgary. Back at the hotel, it turns out they had a guide and map of all the artistic installations across the city. The next day, I take the entire morning to complete a grand tour of the city, passing by most of the works of art in the city. Some of them turn out to be grand, on squares, and easily spottable, while others are small, next to buildings, and harder to discover.

Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): Brotherhood of Mankind, by Mario Armengol: a collection of very tall, slim figures

Among the large installations are the Brotherhood of Mankind, a group of very tall, slender human nude figures, most joining hands in a circle, on a small square between high-rise buildings. They tower high above you, but they still manage to emit a good feeling to those at street level, probably because they look fragile, and hold each other? I walk past one of the newest works, Wonderland by Jaume Plensa again. It looks different in the morning light, and I enjoy walking through it again, looking up at the white curving lines that, together, unmistakably take the shape of a human. A little south of the city centre, there is a row of horses cast in iron, galloping eternally through an open space in the city. Looking closer, every horse has smaller animals casted inside: a cat, a hen.

Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): Looking up the head of Wonderland, and the Bow, Calgary's tallest tower

There are also many smaller works of art. On Prince's Island, there are several sculptures, surrounded by the green park, and with the skyline of Calgary in the background. There are modern, abstract installations, at the foot of high-rise buildings, there are other collections of art. There is the mosaic of tiles made by children, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Calgary. There is the classical sculpture Communication, in the middle of downtown: two well-dressed and life-size men talking to each other, blending in with the people walking the street. There is Olympic Plaza and adjacent Municipal Plaza, where totally different works can be seen. The Women are People! is a collection of statues of five women who struggled for the emancipation of women in Canada. There are other works in Chinatown, recognizing the value of Chinese immigrants in the city. And so, many of the works actually symbolize something valuable for the city of Calgary, making it a collection representing the city and its history.

Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): One of the horses at Do Re Me Fa Sol La Si Do, recognizing the role of the horse in the history of Canada
Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): One of the sculptures on Prince's Island Park: Cracked Pot Foundations, with the skyline of Calgary in the background
Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): Looking up a work of art in the city of Calgary
Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): Looking up the Bow through the head of Wonderland, by Jaume Plensa
Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): The bronze Conversation, depicting two men talking to each other in the street
Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): Looking at the sky through a colourful tower at Municipal Plaza, Calgary
Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): The medals for the 1988 Winter Olympics were handed out at Olympic Plaza, where you can find these orange tubes
Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): The In Search of Gold Mountain monument in Sien Lok Park
Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): Children made these mosaics at the Children's Commemorative Obelisk for the 100th anniversary of Calgary
Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): Human figures sculpted on the Weather Vanes installation
Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): Horse Sculpture, seen in detail
Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): Between the Earth and the Sky - Measuring the Immeasurable - installation of which these two statues are the highest part
Picture of Calgary Street Art (Canada): Louise McKinney, one of the five women in the sculpture Women are Persons!

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