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In News

By Admin

Whereness turns 5!

On 19, May 2021 | In News, Project | By Admin

Spacemakeplace is celebrating five years since the installation of ‘Whereness’. Located near the Langara /49th Avenue Canada Line Station, ‘Whereness’ was commissioned by Mosaic Homes for the City of Vancouver Public Art Program in 2016.

‘Whereness’ provides a tactile link between the area’s geological past and its current condition. The bottom boulder of the sculpture is a granite glacial erratic, deposited at this address thousands of years ago as a huge ice sheet receded up the Fraser Valley. This very boulder was scanned and replicated six times, then stacked to form a visual puzzle.

The sculpture acknowledges the practice of piling rocks at certain points along pathways to guide travellers crossing the landscape. This simple custom is still common across cultures around the world.

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In Make

By Admin

TTC Sherbourne: Fabrication Complete

On 09, Oct 2018 | In Make, News, Project | By Admin

The 39 mosaic panels are complete!  A huge thank you again to Mike Hauner and the whole team at Interstyle Ceramic + Glass for their help and expertise.  We look forward to working with them again soon.

Loaded onto a pallet for transportation to TTC Sherbourne the artwork weighs in at 1500 lbs.

Archiving spare tiles in the tile vault

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In Make

By Admin

TTC Sherbourne: Fabricating Mosaic Sections

On 12, Sep 2018 | In Make, News, Project | By Admin

The production of the Sherbourne Community Mosaic panels has gone really well and we have now nearly completed the fabrication phase of the project.


The design of each panel was created by blending together different geometric patterns that we collected from around the Toronto’s Sherbourne community over three weeks in March and April, 2018.

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We are very grateful to the ~450 people of all ages (who live, work and go to school within a 5-10 min walk of TTC Sherbourne station) for participating at one or more of the 24 pattern-making workshops.  Over 700 amazing triangular tile patterns were contributed to the project – Thank you everyone!

You can find a photo of every pattern on the Sherbourne Community Mosaic Facebook page.  ‘Like’ the page to get future project updates.


Approximately 14,000 equilateral triangle ceramic tiles are needed for the Sherbourne Community Mosaic and each one has been hand-made from Earthenglass™, a blend of 100% recycled glass with clay and porcelain.


Twelve different colours of tiles have been specially crafted for this project.  These colours were inspired by the paint palette of Canadian painter, Tom Thomson, who at one time had his studio in the Rosedale Ravine, near TTC Sherbourne before the station existed.


Each of the thirty-nine Sherbourne Community Mosaic panels has been fabricated and will be installed in smaller sections.  The mosaic panels will be located throughout TTC Sherbourne and cover a total of 400 square feet.


There are up to forty-eight tiles in a section and each tile is laid by hand.  We use a template to help copy from the original designs and a special jig that spaces the tiles evenly.


The tiles at the top and bottom rows of each panel are cut in half with a wet saw so that they will fit square.


After each section is face-taped together, it is given an identifying number that references a map of each panel.


The final stage of the fabrication is to carefully pack each section into boxes ready for transport to TTC Sherbourne for installation.


We give our special thanks to Judy Bayer for her generous support.  Her hard work, helping to count tiles and piece the panels together, has been greatly appreciated!


The Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic public artwork has been commissioned by the Toronto Transit Commission as part of the Easier Access and Second Exit Program.

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In Make

By Admin

TTC Sherbourne: Custom Tile Production Almost Complete

On 05, Sep 2018 | In Make, News, Project | By Admin

Over the last few weeks we’ve been completing the fabrication of the approximately 14,000 custom ceramic tiles needed for the  Sherbourne Community Mosaic.  The final artwork, to be located throughout Toronto’s TTC Sherbourne station, will total 400 square feet in area.  The equilateral triangle tiles are hand-made from Earthenglass™, a blend of 100% recycled glass with clay and porcelain and are produced by Interstyle Ceramic + Glass in Burnaby, BC.

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We’ve developed 12 bespoke colours for the mosaic tiles that have been inspired by the paint palette of Canadian painter, Tom Thomson.


Thomson once had a studio in the Toronto neighbourhood where the mosaic will be located.

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After the tile bisque has been fired once in the kiln the coloured glazes are carefully sprayed onto the triangles.  The tiles are weighed to ensure the correct amount of glazing has been applied.

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The glazed tile bisque is loaded onto trays ready to be feed into the giant kiln


The giant kiln.

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Even though they look delicious these tasty treats are not for eating.

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Grey and Red tiles lined up to get fired.

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The glazed bisque tiles are then re-fired in the kiln at temperatures over 1,200 degrees Celsius – that’s HOT!!!

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The beautiful new ceramic tiles are now ready to be assembled into the Sherbourne Community Mosaic!

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In Make

By Admin

TTC Sherbourne: Custom Tile Production

On 15, Aug 2018 | In Make, News, Project | By Admin

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Mike Hauner, Partner at Interstyle Ceramic + Glass presenting the first batch of tile bisque.

After months of planning, the Sherbourne Community Mosaic has entered the fabrication phase.  The 39 mosaic panels that will form the Sherbourne Community Mosaic will cover 400SF of the TTC Sherbourne Station.

The approximately 14,000 custom ceramic tiles are being produced in Canada by Interstyle Ceramic + Glass in Burnaby, BC.  The equilateral triangle tiles are hand-made from Earthenglass™, a blend of 100% recycled glass with clay and porcelain.

In partnership with Interstyle Ceramic + Glass we’ve developed 12 bespoke colours that have been inspired by the paint palette of Canadian painter, Tom Thomson.  Thomson once had a studio in the Toronto neighbourhood where the mosaic will be located.  The 12 colour glazes match the coloured cardboard tiles that we used in the Sherbourne Community Mosaic pattern-making workshop series held around TTC Sherbourne in April.


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To make the tile bisque the clay mix is rolled flat and then cut into equilateral triangles using a custom die.

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Unglazed tile bisque.

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Inspecting the freshly baked tile bisque.

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Custom colour test samples in the glazing ‘kitchen’.

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Interstyle Ceramic + Glass, Burnaby, B.C. Canada.

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In Make

By Admin

Newly Planted: GIANT

On 20, Jun 2018 | In Make, News, Place, Project | By Admin


We are very pleased to announce the recent installation of ‘Giant’, a 71’ tall artwork commissioned by PC Urban for the newly rebuilt Lightworks Building, located at 22 East 5th Avenue in Vancouver’s Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood.

At 71′ tall, ‘Giant’ represents a juvenile Douglas Fir tree, standing at the approximate height a real Douglas Fir might be in 2018, had it started from seed when the original Lightworks building was first built in 1942.  

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Our special thanks to Gerald Nimchuk and his great team at East Van Vinyl for their expert printing and precision installation.  East Van Vinyl are located on 6th Avenue, only one block away from GIANT!  Thank you also to Wade Girgulis, Project Manager at PC Urban and Jan Ballard and her team at Ballard Fine Art for this opportunity.

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GIANT installation half way.  The installation took place in two phases and took four days to complete.

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On the doors at the main entrance to the Lightworks Building the GIANT image is fritted inside the glass panes for added protection

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In Inspiration

By Admin

TTC Sherbourne: Tom Thomson Colour Palette

On 13, Jun 2018 | In Inspiration, Make, Place, Project, Research | By Admin

The Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic will use a set of 12 colours that are inspired by the palette of iconic Canadian painter, Tom Thomson.



Colour testing by Interstyle Ceramic & Glass of the twelve colours chosen for the TTC Sherbourne Community Mosaic

Thomas John Thomson, painter (born 5 August 1877 in Claremont, ON; died 8 July 1917 in Algonquin Provincial Park, ON). An early inspiration for what became The Group of Seven, Tom Thomson was one of the most influential and enduringly popular Canadian artists of the early part of the twentieth century. His paintings The West Wind (1917) and Jack Pine (1916-1917) are familiar Canadian icons.  Thomson was a master colourist.




Thomson was one of the first artists in residence at the Studio Building, located at 25 Severn Street, in the Rosedale ravine immediately east of the above-ground Ellis portal that brings subway trains into and out of the north end of the Bloor-Yonge subway station, a short walking distance from Sherbourne Station. His studio’s site and positioning takes advantage of the northern exposure that illuminates the artist’s canvas with very even, neutral light.  Completed in 1914, the nonprofit facility was financed by Lawren Harris, heir to the Massey-Harris farm machinery fortune, and Dr James MacCallum.




Thomson would spend the summers in Algonquin Park and winter at the Studio Building in a refurbished a workmen’s shed on the east side of the building that MacCallum had converted so Thomson could work in an environment closer to his beloved wilderness settings.




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TTC Sherbourne: Community Workshops

On 09, May 2018 | In infrastructure, Inspiration, Make, News, Place, Project, Research, Space | By Admin


Over three weeks in March and April, 2018, we led 24 community pattern-making workshops at seven different venues located within a 5-10 min walking radius of TTC Sherbourne Station.  We met with approximately 450 local community members, from kindergarten children to senior citizens, who contributed over 700 unique triangle patterns to this public art project. We are amazed!

Check out all of the pattern design galleries on the Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic Facebook page!

After a brief introduction to the project, participants were invited to create their own triangular patterns by arranging colourful cardboard tiles on special templates.  Twelve different colours reference the bold palette of Tom Thomson, a famous Canadian painter who once had a studio in the nearby Rosedale Ravine. When completed, every pattern was photographed and catalogued, and the individual or group of artists were given the opportunity to provide their name to be included on the public artwork plaque as a contributor.

Later this year, ceramic tile mosaics will be installed at multiple locations around TTC Sherbourne Station.  The mosaics will be assembled from custom-made tiles, manufactured in Canada from recycled glass. Each tile will be twice as large as the cardboard tiles used in the workshops.

The final mosaic pieces will be inspired by the patterns collected from community members.  Parts of individual patterns will be woven together to form new and complex patterns representing the creativity and interconnectivity of the local community.  

We greatly appreciate the hospitality, enthusiasm and support that we have received.  We would like to give special thanks to those who assisted in hosting the workshops: David Crichton, Rose Avenue Junior Public School; Shabana Sohail, Community Matters Toronto; Simon Storey, Rosedale Junior Public School; Allyson Payne, Branksome Hall School; Suja Selvaraj, St. James Town Community Corner; Suzanne Fernando, Toronto Public Library – St James Town Branch; Rick Lee, Wellesley Community Centre; Jaymie Sampa, 519 Space for Change.  Individual pattern-making participants will be acknowledged on a plaque that will be located near the station entrance.

The Sherbourne Station Community Mosaic public artwork has been commissioned by the Toronto Transit Commission as part of the Easier Access and Second Exit Program.




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In Make

By Admin

Calder Community Mosaic: Grand Opening!

On 04, Mar 2018 | In Make, News, Place, Project | By Admin


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.
















































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In Make

By Admin

‘Storytelling’ installed!

On 02, Jun 2016 | In Make, Place, Project, Space | By Admin

Earlier this week our latest piece of public art, ‘Storytelling’ was installed!


IMu Chan inspecting the installation of ‘Storytelling’ at Chief Mathias Joe Park, North Vancouver, BC.

Rebecca Bayer of spacemakeplace design worked in collaboration with IMu Chan of FSOARK Architects, in close partnership with the City of North Vancouver and local Squamish Nation representatives on this project.  It is part of the soon-to-be-complete renovation of Chief Mathias Joe Park in North Vancouver, BC.


‘Storytelling’ as seen from the soon to be completed playground at Chief Mathias Joe Park.


‘Storytelling’ is inspired by a story about the ‘Twin Sisters’ who brought peace to the region and were transformed into Vancouver’s iconic peaks more commonly known today as the ‘The Lions’.

The Sisters can be appreciated from multiple angles.


Our special thanks to Toby’s Cycle Works, the metal fabricators and installers of ‘Storytelling’.  Thank you to the City of North Vancouver for making this project happen!


Toby and Tito from Toby’s Cycleworks making final adjustments to ‘Storytelling’

Stay tuned for official park opening date – coming soon.


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In Inspiration

By Admin

Inspiration for Calder Community Patterns

On 09, Jul 2015 | In Inspiration, Project, Research | By Admin

We’re excited about the new Calder Library mosaic project.  The mosaic will be inspired by some of the patterns from the different groups of people who make up this Edmonton community.  Census data shows that the people of Calder originate from countries and cultures from all over the world, and that there is a large Aboriginal population.


Plains First Nations












Middle East

Ndebele Artwork on Wall of a House







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In Place

By Admin

BOUNTY – public art proposal

On 30, Jun 2015 | In Place, Proposal, Research | By Admin

“The [Burrard] Inlet and Indian Arm have been a source of sustenance for the Tsleil-Waututh people since time out of mind. Our Elders taught us that when the tide went out, the table was set. Industrial development over the past 75 years has made it impossible for our children to enjoy the natural resources that our grandmothers and grandfathers enjoyed.”   – Chief Leah George-Wilson of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation


Native B.C. Little Neck Clam

BOUNTY is a public art proposal by spacemakeplace inspired by a quote from Chief Leah George-Wilson of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Her people have lived on the shores around Burrard Inlet for millennia. BOUNTY is intended to honor the commitment and spirit of many local communities situated in Vancouver, especially around Burrard Inlet, who are stewards of our waters, air and land.

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BOUNTY Concept Image

BOUNTY abstracts a Littleneck Clam, native to Burrard Inlet, by enlarging it to the size of seating and then casting it in white Ductal®, an ultra-high performance concrete. Ductal® has a fine, shell-like finish and can render realistic detail but is incredibly resilient to hostile environments and so is a perfect material for use in public art where tactility and durability are important.

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BOUNTY Concept Layout

The outsize proportion of the clam sculpture signifies the abundance, or BOUNTY of seafood that a clean and healthy Burrard Inlet can provide. Three clams are proposed to be clustered in a public plaza in Port Moody, BC. as a monument to this important body of water.

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