Many thanks to Brent Richter and Mike Wakefield from the North Shore News for this article about ‘MERGE’ #mergesoundwall. ***
“For too long, it’s been a traffic jam through a construction site. But the bottom of The Cut is taking on a whole new look. Artist Rebecca Bayer is putting the final touches on Merge, a 366-metre-long shock of colour stretching along Highway 1 between Mountain Highway and Fern Street.
It is one of the final pieces of the $200-million Lower Lynn Improvement Project, intended to shield the Inter River neighbourhood from highway noise. But it’s also now likely the largest single piece of public art on the North Shore. “An acoustic barrier wall could be very mundane and boring, but my hope with the bright colours is that it is more interesting and vibrant from both sides. It can be experienced at a slow pace, but also a fairly quick pace if you’re driving along the highway, and it sort of blurs together as you drive by,” she said. “I get pretty excited by public art that really blends with the infrastructure or architecture, and it just becomes part of something that was already going to be there anyway.”
Bayer chose the 20 different colours specifically because they are found in the flora, fauna and landmarks from the Lynn Valley area. Bayer consulted with the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre to match colours with individual species like the red-backed salamander, Pacific chorus frog and licorice fern. She then tried out different permutations to come up with the pattern that exists there today. “There is quite an amazing pocket of nature right there,” she said. “It made sense to try to work with the natural palette in some way.”
On the Inter River side, the names of the species appear on some panels, which Bayer said she hopes will enable Merge to educate as well as beautify.
Lori Phillips, the District of North Vancouver’s public art officer who helped in the selection process of Bayer for the project, said it does both. “Merge is a perfect example of the magic that can happen when artists are added to infrastructure projects. Suddenly a rather understated sound wall is transformed into a dynamic public artwork that is free and accessible for everyone to enjoy,” she said. “The District of North Vancouver’s public art program, was thrilled to partner with the [Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure] on this project and we know that the residents of Lynnmour, along with the thousands of daily commuters and travellers on Highway 1 will enjoy its masterful merge of colour and story, for years to come.”
Even as sound barriers/art canvasses go, the panels are a “world-class sound attenuation product” designed to neutralize sound, not just bounce it away from residences, said Mark Hersey, managing partner of Solid Rock Fencing, the company contracted to install the 623 panels.
Today, there are just a few gaps in the wall, which will be filled when the final panels arrive from Europe, Hersey said. The final components of the Lower Lynn Improvement Project, including combining the Main Street and Dollarton Highway on-ramps into one with signalized traffic control, are expected to come online later this fall.”
Special thanks on this project go out to: Jay Porter, BC Transportation and Infrastructure Erin Moxton, North Vancouver District Lori Phillips, North Vancouver Recreation & Culture Tamsin Guppy, Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre Rainer Kraft, KCI Kraft Consulting Inc. Mark Hersey and Jason Hardy, Solid Rock Fencing Ltd.
MERGE (2021) Rebecca Bayer, 356m x 4m, Powder-coated Aluminum Acoustic Panels, Trans-Canada Highway @ Keith Road, Lynnmour, District of North Vancouver, territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations
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!
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.
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. This project is supported by the Edmonton Arts Council on behalf of the Edmonton Public Library and the City of Edmonton.
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.
Rebecca Bayer and IMu Chan are very honoured to have been a part of the Chief Mathias Joe Park renewal in North Vancouver with their piece ‘Storytelling.’ Yesterday afternoon the weather cleared for several hours during an energetic event honouring the Mathias family. Thank you to the City of North Vancouver for making this project come to life.