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All In Hand

New publication in the 'hood?

Miss Vicky Sat May 17, 2008

So posters are up along the strip promoting a soon-to-appear new publication, the "Wellington Oracle". Intriguing!

Public Art Consultation

Miss Vicky Thu May 15, 2008

Miss Vicky strolled over to the Hintonburg Community Centre to check out the five finalists in the city's competition for public art on Wellington Street West. Interesting proposals, all of them. According to the material distributed at the meeting, the selection criteria to determine the winning proposal includes:

* artistic excellence
* Creativity of approach and strength of concept
* Integration with streetscape design
* Understanding and interpretation of the project objectives and themes
* Knowledge of materials, methods of production and delivery
* Community and user engagement
* Durability and maintainability.

Miss Vicky had her own criteria to add to the mix: she wanted to see some kind of function to the art, and (ideally), some connection between the artist and our community.

Now, all of the artists are based in the surrounding area - some were from as far away as Almonte and Wakefield - but none live or work in the 'hood. One member of one team used to work here - with a collective of potters in the building that now houses Collected Works. That's it though... this is a tad disappointing, especially since there were at least two contributions by teams of locally-based artists. More on what we didn't see in another post... here's what we did see:

Proposal A

Proposal A involves a series of posts topped with bronze sculptures of birds in flight, each clutching a "treasure" from the community. there would be two groupings in areas where there is a bit more room - like Somerset Square. The proposal also includes birds perched on signs attached to streetlamps, which can distinguish between the different areas along the mainstreet (Hintonburg, Wellington Village, etc). They can also offer unique signage for local businesses that can expand the theme further.

Proposal B

Proposal B proposes a series of metal sculptures placed along the mainstreet. The sculptures are fairly abstract, but all centre around the theme of ribbons and weaving - called "local ties", the idea is to use the sculptures as a way to describe the things that connect our diverse community. Some of the sculptures have a functional aspect, and can be used as seating. Some have little surprises etched into them - images of cyclists and so on. Some incorporate moving parts that kids can play with

Proposal C -model

Proposal C is a series of mosaic posts topped with metal scuplture. Each post has a particular theme - "Garden", "Build", "Home", and so on, each capturing a different aspect of the community, its past, present and future. Some of the posts include built-in benches, and the artists also propose some mosaic benches for Somerset Square and along the strip. The mosaic is colourful and whimsical, and they propose some interesting community-building aspects to the work - like workshops with different groups to make tiles, or contribute images (like historic photographs) that can be scanned on to the tiles and included in the mosaics. They want to commission works from 18 local artists - paintings that can be scanned onto tiles.

Proposal D - model

Proposal D would be marble scupltures of stylized fire hydrants placed along the strip, mounted on pedestals. Each hydrant incorporates some different kind of tool or food item - a computer mouse, a garlic bulb, and ear of corn. They are quite cool and the marble is beautiful.

proposal E - Paisley

Proposal E is based on the theme of fabric - getting at the idea of social fabric by using images and designs from different types of fabric used historically and by different cultures. There are a couple of aspects to the proposal - banners made of different types of metal, and art stones used as pavers or as wall plaques. Like proposal C, the artist proposes to work with the community to determine the different kinds of fabric that would be used

You can see more images on Miss Vicky's flickr page/

Reaction was quite positive to all of the proposals - many commented that they'd like a little bit of all of them, thank you very much. It is definitely going to be a tough decision for the jury next week. Right now Miss Vicky favours Option C - she likes the colour, the functional aspect, and the fact that they want to include works by local artists and involve the community in the creation of the pieces. She also likes the idea of Proposal B, not to mention the fact that some of the parts spin and they can be used as benches. But the sizing may be awkward for some parts of the street (depending on where they are placed, of course). She would like to see one of the sculptures as a signature piece in front of a particular destination - it might have more of an impact that way. Option A, while clever and certainly offering a great way of incorporating a common look and feel to the area while distinguishing between the different neighbourhoods, didn't have the functional aspect that Miss Vicky was looking for. Likewise the marble hydrants of option D - put a dog hitch or something to hook my bike on, and then we'll talk. And option E, while clearly having the social/activist/community message Miss Vicky goes for, just wasn't fleshed out enough to have the right impact. It also lacked the function component.

How about you? What did you all think?

and speaking of public art

Miss Vicky Thu May 15, 2008

on your way to the open house tonight, stop by Cyclelogik and check out the display from the Recycled Community Art Project, one of the collaborative activities at Sunday's ArtsPark!


Portait Gallery Rally Tomorrow

Miss Vicky Thu May 15, 2008

Our MP is holding a rally tomorrow (Friday, May 16) in support of keeping the National Portrait Gallery in Ottawa. He's asking people who want the Gallery to stay here to gather at the NCC InfoCentre (across from Parliament Hill) at noon. Ottawa Photographer Paul Couvrette will take a portrait of those in attendance.

Here's his YouTube video on the issue:



Miss Vicky Tue May 13, 2008

Also on Thursday evening is the West Wellington Community Association Annual General Meeting. It takes place at Fisher Park School at 7pm. They are looking for interested board members and other volunteers, so if you live in the area and have been thinking about getting involved, here's your chance!

Public Art: Have your say

Miss Vicky Tue May 13, 2008

So the city has selected 5 finalists for public art along the Wellington St West corridor. Apparently 19 local artists responded to the call for submissions - a good sign, for sure. Miss Vicky is not entirely sure who made up the jury to select the finalists, but according to the office of Cultural Affairs, "Selection criteria includes such things as artistic excellence, experience, reflection of the community, character of the site and durability." Miss Vicky would have preferred an additional criteria of functionality, as she would like to see public art integrated into the parts of the streetscape that are used by people in our community every day - bike racks, garbage and recycling containers and so on. Ah, well.

The five artists or teams who have made it to the next stage are:
c.j. fleury; Marcus Kucey Jones and Ryan Lotecki; Janet MacKay and Mitchell Webster; Jennifer Macklem; Carolynne Pynn-Trudeau and Chandler Swain.

You can view their proposals, meet the artists and provide comments to the Art Selection Committee on Thursday, May 15, 2008 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Hintonburg Community Centre.

How neighbourly

Miss Vicky Fri May 9, 2008


This neighbourly little note appeared on the window of one of our commercial establishments this morning. It caused a bit of a stir among dog-loving proprietors of other local businesses. The police were called and the owner said it was an old English joke (Miss Vicky is not aware of the reference but would love to be enlightened). According to Miss Vicky's source, "Apparently he was just so fed up that he couldnt take it any longer and decided to take matters into his own hands".

Miss Vicky is not unsympathetic. She gets frustrated with people eating Kentucky Fried Chicken and leaving debris on her lawn, too. But part of having a business that fronts a main street or living in an urban neighbourhood means having to deal with urban life... whether that is "flaneurs" and their four-legged friends or litter or noise or traffic. For all those annoyances about urban life are wrapped up with all of its wonder and joy. Miss Vicky wouldn't have it any other way, really.

The sign is gone now, and I can only imagine that said business owner is wondering why the neighbourhood doesn't have a sense of humour. We do, but there's no need for threats of violence, however creatively worded. Next time, try talking to your neighbours.


Big weekend in the 'burg!

Miss Vicky Thu May 8, 2008

Lots going on this weekend! Miss Vicky, the Webgeek and WeeG will likely be spending most of the weekend over at the Parkdale Market and Park (in between watching the rest of our garage get demolished and figuring out how we're going to keep the dog contained while we wait for the new fence).

Saturday is the official market opening and the annual Hintonburg Tulip festival. The morning's festivities include the annual plant exchange, but the real fun begins after noon, with games, contests, and plenty of activities for kids. And this year's baking contest, which I believe is brownies (have your entries in by 12:30, folks!). I believe a bouncy castle and a visit from the fire truck are on the agenda as well. Hopefully G won't sleep through the whole afternoon!

Sunday is probably the best Mother's Day event around - ArtsPark. For those new to the 'hood, or unfamiliar with this annual event, it's a day-long celebration of art, music and performance. You get a real sampling of some of what the QUAD has to offer.

The fun starts at 10am and continues to 4pm. On the programme:

* Invitational show from 13 QUAD artists -- get their free souvenir album of bookmarks onsite
* Playing Robin Hood, a new production from Salamander Theatre for Young Audiences
* Designer Showcase with 20 vendors
* Live "Urban Art Fest" presented by Parkdale Gallery
* The heritage walking tour and Poetry Factory are back
* Live music with the Herb Girls, Ottawa Community Concert Band, the Judah Gospel Chorale, Lucky Ron and the McGillicuddy Sisters
* Food, drink, buskers and lots more

While you're there, visit the new exhibit at the CUBE, "Black and White", and the offerings at the Parkdale Gallery and Patrick John Mills Gallery. Oh, and check out my friend Eliza's jewelery in the designer showcase - great stuff!

See you at Parkale Park!


Stand up for Choice May 8

Miss Vicky Wed May 7, 2008

So tomorrow is the annual "March for Life" on Parliament Hill. Miss Vicky will get right to the point: Pro-choice advocates and opponents of Ken Epp's dangerous private member's bill C-484 are gathering at the Human Rights Monument on Elgin and Lisgar from 1:15 to 2:15 to make a peaceful and positive show of support for reproductive choice and the protection of women's rights. Feather boas are recommended but not required.


Just 'cause I feel like it

Miss Vicky Mon May 5, 2008

Miss Vicky loves this song. That is all.

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