On March 1, 2018 we were delighted to attend the Grand Opening Ceremony for the new Edmonton Public Library’s Calder Branch. It has been three years since our proposal to create the Calder Community Mosaic was selected by the Edmonton Arts Council to become a piece of public art to be integrated with the architecture of this new construction.
Representatives from the City of Edmonton, the Province of Alberta, Edmonton Public Library Board of Trustees, Six Nation Elders, the Edmonton Arts Council and the people of all ages from the local community gathered for dedication speeches, ribbon cutting (complete with over-sized scissors) and a special Calder Branch cake.
We were very pleased to present the Library with copies of the book publication that we had prepared that describes the community participation in the Calder Community Mosaic and how it was created and installed. Please ask the branch librarian if you would like to see a copy.
The Calder Community Mosaic was designed to fit the entire wall of the Community Room, just inside the main entrance of the new Calder Branch Library by MBAC Architects. Illuminated by special lighting above the artwork and also open to the daylight through the floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around almost the entire exterior of the LEED® Silver building, the mosaic is clearly visible from the street and library forecourt.
After a year and a half of preparation, the Calder Community Mosaic was given a final wipe, polish and an inspection and then it was finished!
In the first weeks of 2018 the Edmonton Public Library will take occupancy of their newest branch and complete their fit out of the space. Stay tuned for an official opening date in the New Year!
Our thanks to Craig Lemiski from Ellis Don for keeping us all safe on his construction site. His team has done a great job building the new library and it will be a public space that the whole community will be proud of. We also would like to thank the support and assistance from Robert Harpin, Andrea Bowes and Eva Marie Clarke from the Edmonton Arts Council.
At the end of a busy week the last major step was to apply the grout that fills in the gaps between each tile. We chose a middle grey colour that would continue to look good over time and would unite the complete mosaic design together while also giving each unique art-glass triangle tile definition. Thanks again to Csaba and Adam from the Tile Setting Company for their great work!
Watching the mosaic come together in its final form up onto the Community Room wall was an exciting process. Each part of the overall pattern that forms the final mosaic design was sourced directly from members of the Calder Community who attended one of the community pattern workshops held in June 2016.
In the spirit of the project, the installation team worked together and over one full day we unboxed and prepared each numbered panel before Csaba Bereczki, Journeyman Installer and owner of The Tilesetter Company and his assistant Adam set the patterns in place up on the wall. There is positive energy and everything is looking good!
For the final part of the project, the installation of the custom art-glass tile mosaic onto the wall of the Calder Branch Library’s Community Room, we turned to the expertise of Edmonton-local Csaba Bereczki, Journeyman Installer and owner of The Tilesetter Company. With his assistant, Adam, they prepared the 4.8m x 2.4m wall in the Community Room with a special anti-fracture membrane. The new 10,000 sq. ft. stand-alone Calder Branch Library is LEED® Silver certified and all the products used in the installation of the new artwork are the best available and will ensure that the Mosaic looks its very best for many years to come.
After weeks of careful assembly, the mosaic panels were packed up at our studio and made ready for transportation to the Calder Branch Library. Special thanks to Annie and Terri from Taste Culinary Solutions for lending us their warehouse and helping us with their forklift.
Andrea Bowes, Public Art Conservator with the Edmonton Arts Council gave us a warm welcome to Edmonton and assisted us with the delivery of the mosaic boxes to the nearly completed Calder Branch Library. After 18 months of design and fabrication it is a big relief to have the tiles safely inside the beautiful new library by MBAC!
Here is a peek behind the scenes at the production of the Calder Community Mosaic. The mosaic mural is made of ~7500 custom-made triangular-shaped stained glass tiles. The ten different colours of tile used in the mosaic were inspired by the Albertan environment. The tiles are laid out in 30cm x 30cm sections. We then photograph each section for the archive, give it a reference number and then carefully pack it, ready for installation in the Community Room at the new Calder Branch Library. There are 120 panels in all that make up the 4.8m x 2.4m mural mosaic!
Installation is scheduled for early December 2017 in time for the Library’s grand opening – we can’t wait!
We’re excited to have received the custom-cut stained glass tiles for the community room mosaic at the new Calder Branch Library in Edmonton. There are 10 different colours of art glass tiles that closely match the coloured tiles that everybody used at the Calder community workshops we held last year. Over the next couple of months we’ll be fabricating the mosaic in our studio in preparation for the final installation at the end of this year when the Calder Branch Library construction is completed.
Stay tuned for updates…
We’re excited that the design for the new Calder Branch Library community mosaic mural is coming together nicely. We are making preparations to begin fabrication soon.
Here is an updated animation of all of the digitized patterns created from the great designs gathered last year at the Calder Community pattern workshops.
In June 2016 we had the pleasure of spending time in the Calder neighbourhood of Edmonton, part of Treaty Six territories in Alberta. We met with community members through pattern-making workshops, generating ideas for a large mosaic which will be installed at the new Calder Branch of the Edmonton Public Library. Ultimately, a wide variety of different repeating patterns will be artfully meshed together into one whole.
The free pattern-making workshops focused on using a triangular base. Triangles have been used in patterns across cultures for millennia. Geometrically, equilateral triangles have many shape and pattern possibilities; they create both linear and radial patterns, and can be arranged into hexagons, stars, diamonds, zig-zags, curves, and other shapes.
We had the honour of conducting these playful, open-ended workshops at the North West Seniors Society, the Edmonton Aboriginal Seniors Society, the Africa Centre, the Al Rashid Mosque, Calder School, and the existing Calder Branch. We sincerely thank all of the incredible participants – we are so grateful for the beautiful, diverse, and intriguing contributions.
Special thanks to Robert Harpin from the Edmonton Arts Council, Julie Woods and Raquel (Rocky) Mann from Calder Branch, and Cathie Bush from Calder School. We certainly felt welcome during our stay in Edmonton, and it was great to learn about Calder through visiting vibrant neighbourhood nodes.
Stay tuned for more over the coming months!
Photos taken with permission by: Raquel Mann, Calder Branch staff, David Gregory, Rebecca Bayer
This project is made possible through the Edmonton Arts Council.
Rebecca Bayer (artist) & David Gregory (photographer)