Harmony’s Unique Public Art Installation Leaves a Lasting Legacy
Calgary, AB - Qualico’s master-planned communities feature unique combinations of architecture, street layouts, entry features, parks and pathways, and more recently, a growing number of public art installations taking shape.
In the community of Harmony, Qualico Communities Calgary teamed up with Bordeaux Developments and Heavy Industries to hold an art competition and select a design for a second public art piece for the community. This installation complements the existing artwork at the entrance of the community. Art and land architecture students were invited to submit their proposals, and with several stunning entries to choose from, four finalists were selected.
Ultimately, Gordon Skilling’s “[Re]newal - Profound Cycles” was chosen as the final design, with prize money being allocated to further his education. Due to the high quality of work submitted, however, the rights to the three other finalists’ designs were also purchased for future use in Harmony.
“As part of the vision for Harmony, public art was always meant to play a role,” said Emily Smith, Manager, Marketing & Customer Care, Qualico Communities Calgary. “We have heard only positive things about the piece from those in the industry, our community partners, Rocky View Country, council, and the public.”
Installed and officially unveiled in September of 2019, the installation is located at the north entrance of the community, close to the lake and future beach club. It is also visible as you drive to the newly opened Mickelson National Golf Club of Canada (MCGCC), the first world-class golf course in a Qualico Community.
Gordon’s intent with the piece is to evoke the themes of lifecycles, with images of grass and water that symbolize the past and the future. The grass is representative of the heritage and historical significance of the lands, as one of the first ranching areas in the Springbank and Calgary area. The water represents the diligence that has been placed into the community’s water conservation strategy, with its lake and wetlands.
In the centre of the piece, two hands are passing a rare species of grass, representing a link from the past to the future. Qualico Communities transplanted the pale blue-eyed grass in Harmony, which serves to protect the native habitat.
Once installed, it was also discovered that when the wind blows through the metal slats, it reverberates and creates music, which, given the name of the community, makes for a very special addition to the neighbourhood.
“Art has played such a pivotal role in our communities in the past, and it will continue to do so in the future,” said Emily. “We do it because it makes our communities different, and it shows our dedication to the Qualico brand and legacy.”
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