Public Art Calls

Travellers, Sara Hartland Rowe

Halifax Regional Municipality public art opportunities and updates on commissions, installations and unveilings. 

Creighton and Charles intersection

Creighton and Charles intersection

The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) has issued a Call for Artists to lead a series of community-based street mural projects in Halifax’s North End as part of the Asphalt Art Initiative. This project is made possible by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative grant program.

Project Budget: $34,000 ($6,000 for Artist Fees x 3 Artists). Project budget administered by HRM.

Submission Deadline: January 26, 2024

Download the Call for Artists

Q&A transcript from Info Session

About the Project

Interim traffic calming and safety improvement measures have been installed along Creighton and Maynard Streets in Halifax in the summer of 2023.  The infrastructure will make space for a new bikeway, slow vehicles, and shorten pedestrian crossing points.  Working with students at Joseph Howe Elementary School 3 local artists will design street paintings for the bump-out areas near the school on themes to be decided through consultation with the community and the students. Children at the school will design the street murals in collaboration with the selected artists and then paint the designs together with the community. Following the community paint day, a ‘learn to ride & outdoor art tour’ event to celebrate the work will take place. 

Key Project Goals

  • Better defines the space, increasing visibility and minimizing opportunity for confusion for vehicles; 
  • Better reclaim the space for pedestrians and help people to visualize the space as more than a space for cars; 
  • Enhances project aesthetic appeal; 
  • Inspires people, draws visitors in, and enhances quality of life;
  • Increases safety; and
  • Creating a sense of ownership of the streetscape by the neighbourhood.
Conceptual Rendering – Fathom Studio

Conceptual Rendering – Fathom Studio

In 2023 the Public Art contract for the Keshen Goodman Public Library was awarded to artist Andrea Tsang Jackson The Public Artwork is set to be installed Spring 2024. 

The Keshen Goodman Public Library provides critical social infrastructure with a diverse patronage including newcomers, seniors, youth, and young families. Equitable access to language learning, technology, meaningful programming, and social opportunities are all essential services provided by the branch. The branch is well-used by all age groups with very well-attended programming for youth, seniors, families, and everything in between.

The selected art piece should be reflective of the diverse community served by the Keshen Goodman Public Library, while also promoting active engagement and play-based learning.

Storyteller, Gerald Gloade, Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew

The Storyteller, Gerald Gloade

In 2020 the Public Art contract for the Spring Garden Road Streetscaping Public Art Project was awarded to artists Jacqueline Metz & Nancy Chew, of Muse Atelier, with cultural commentary and design of The Story-teller by Mi'kmaw artist Gerald Gloade. The Public Artwork was installed in fall 2023. 

About the Artwork:

Along Spring Garden Road, linking the lush Public Gardens to the bold contemporary Central Library, will be a series of five colourful art silhouettes by artists Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew, including a collaboration with Gerald Gloade, Mi’kmaw artist and cultural educator.

Jacqueline and Nancy were drawn to the Gardens, an artifice of nature inhabited by figurines, ghosts, flitting birds, small animals and even further back, before the Gardens were gardens, the memories of caribou, hunters, trappers…a place of overlapping enigmatic stories. The library is a place of books and the written tradition - containers of stories, narratives, ‘history’; the Public Gardens, an artifact of the colonial Victorian era - are also a container of stories, narratives, ‘history’.

Long before this area was a garden or a city there was forest, wildlife and indigenous camps for hunting and gathering - the memories and traces of this also form stories, narratives, ‘history’. The silhouettes are informed by the idea of stories and characters - whether from books, myths, history, or implied by traces and memories of those people and creatures who have inhabited the area: they are characters from the Gardens, the gardens before it was The Garden, the library, the place.

The artists are very grateful for their working relationship with Gerald Gloade, Mi’kmaw artist and cultural educator. He not only provided the artists historical insight and cultural commentary during the conceptual development of their work but collaborated with them on one of the silhouettes - the storyteller.

This silhouette will be kitty-corner to the Central Library, a place of books, the written tradition. The artwork here - informed by the oral tradition and Mi’kmaq storytelling - forms a counterpoint. The silhouette is an artwork by Gerald with an addition by Jacqueline and Nancy. The turtle is the great storyteller, the one who passes on culture, knowledge, wisdom and truth - and in doing so hold’s the world on his back. Listening enraptured to the turtle are two crows, slightly foolish but wanting to learn.

About the Artists:

Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew are visual artists who have worked collaboratively since 1997. They met in at UBC in 1986 and found they had common interests in architecture, public space, landscape and cultural thought. Jacqueline had a childhood in northern BC, camping, building forts in the forest, watching the light shift, seasons change, leaves decay, the shifting crackling aurora borealis, exploring nature. Later formative interests include photography, archaeology, and literature. Nancy is a first-generation Canadian raised on Vancouver Island. Growing up on the Island, next to the Cowichan Tribes, her world was about navigating diverse cultures and thought systems - Western, Chinese and Indigenous. These diverse experiences and influences come together to create an art practice that is conceptual yet grounded in place - a practice centred on the public realm, an exploration of place and perception.

Gerald Gloade is an artist, educator, storyteller, naturalist, Elder and visionary, his efforts have been integral to expanding cultural understanding and contributing to healing in Mi'kma'ki. Gloade was honoured at the Vancouver Olympics Aboriginal Art Pavilion with a design on a Canada 150 coin for the Royal Canadian Mint and as a nominee for the prestigious Portia White Prize. He is also a past member of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council. Every October, his striking and informative posters for Mi’kmaq History Month are a sought-after tool for teaching the Mi'kmaq language. Most recently, he illustrated A Journey of Love and Hope, the Inspirational Words of a Mi’kmaw Elder for Nimbus Publishing. Gloade lives in Millbrook First Nation with his wife, Natalie. The couple have two sons, Kyle and Gerald, and two grandchildren, Nina Gloade-Raining Bird and Gerald Lydian Gloade Raining-Bird.

Project Overview:

Spring Garden Road is one of the region's busiest pedestrian shopping streets and a major corridor for Halifax Transit. Anchored by the popular Halifax Central Library at one end and the spectacular Halifax Public Gardens at the other. After significant public engagement in 2018 and 2019, the Halifax Regional Municipality completed a major investment in the streetscape of this important civic corridor. The street was narrowed to allow for wider sidewalks with ample seating opportunities, overhead lines were buried, and many trees and planters were installed. 

More information on the project is available here