The creative spark can be elusive, but when it strikes, magical things happen. The artwork of three prolific sculptors dot the open-air courtyard at United’s Fish Creek community. Often when it comes to works of art, the usual admonition is “look but don’t touch”. The art pieces at United invite a hands-on experience.
In 2016, two of the artists, and the co-owner of Canada House Gallery in Banff, spent an afternoon at the Fish Creek community to speak with residents about their inspiration for the pieces, and why creativity is so important as we get older. You can watch the complete video here.
A sculpted silver-coloured sphere called Cipher Sphere – part of artist Tony Bloom’s Landbuoys collection – rests in the main courtyard. And what’s fascinating is that the various surfaces were specifically designed to produce different sounds.
Tony explains in this video what creativity means to him.
United has also installed several large, steel pine cones as part of the courtyard’s unique collection of artwork. The pine cones were made by artist Floyd Elzinga and are a fitting tribute to the large pine trees that dot nearby Fish Creek Park, the largest urban park in Canada. Barbara Pelham, co-owner of Canada House Gallery in Banff, explains how Floyd sees the pine cone sculptures.
“United Active Living is an avid supporter of the arts because we know that artwork has a positive effect on people and can inspire creativity,” said Gail Hinchliffe, president, United Active Living. “Our residents express themselves in painting, clay and other materials, and many find an affinity for the artwork they didn’t know they had, so bringing these artists in to speak with residents is an amazing opportunity to explore work of the artists and their own inner creative expression.”
Alberta sculptor Stewart Steinhauer produced a 3,500 lb. granite bear and cub for United’s courtyard. Bears are special to Stewart, as they play a significant role in his Cree heritage. Stewart fully supports United’s approach of promoting the creative process.
After the presentations, residents spent time with each of the artists, asking questions and understanding how each piece was created. “This direct contact with the artists is a rare opportunity for our residents to get a better understanding of how art is created, and how the creative process is available to everyone. The creative process doesn’t age,” said Gail.
And to put a little icing on the cake, Tony Bloom used his drumming skills to jam with the Barley Hepcats, two jazz musicians who were on hand for the event.
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