Artwork on display in downtown Fredericton provides pleasant distraction from construction work
FREDERICTON -- A sure sign of summer is streets closed for construction, and in downtown Fredericton, it's well under way on Regent Street.
The construction is necessary for infrastructure, but a deterrent for many. But, this year, you might want to stroll by as Downtown Fredericton Inc. has found a way for people to enjoy it.
"Given that normally a construction zone is normally a place that people shy away from and given that our businesses have had a very hard time due to the pandemic the last 15 or so months, we wanted to do everything we possibly could to encourage people to come to this street," said Krista Rae, of Downtown Fredericton Inc.
They put out a call to local artists to submit their already completed pieces for consideration, 23 were selected, and 40 panels of their work were created to adorn the fence.
They're hopeful it will also attract people to visit the businesses along the street so that they're not heavily impacted by construction.
"We were uncertain about how it would work with the art on these mesh panels, how it would hold up during construction, during the weather so we worked with the printer to find a suitable material that could handle those elements," Rae said.
The construction site art is a first for the city, but they're hoping it won't be the last time the use barricades as an easel.
"I think it's really unique it's not in a gallery setting it's not even an art show really it's a very passive way for people to kind of be able to view art," said Laura Forrester, a Fredericton based artist who has two pieces along Regent Street.
For those walking by who wanted to know more about the art, most pieces include a QR code to scan and bring you to the artist's site or social media.
"If a person sees something that they're really engaging with and they want to know more about that artist they have a way of finding them," Forrester said.
Passersby are enjoying the colourful flare the art has brought the street.
"It's a great way to transform a construction site into an attraction rather than something people don't want to go towards." said Rachel Smith who admired the art while out for a walk.
"I appreciate seeing the local people and recognizing names from the area, and I think also the QR codes are sick you can scan them and they take you to like an artist's page," she said.
Construction on Regent Street is expected to last until August, and the art will be up take in for the duration of the summer.