Questions raised about future of public art in Halifax
Published Thursday, May 14, 2015 7:11PM ADT
Last Updated Friday, May 15, 2015 8:17AM ADT
The future for two pieces of public art in Halifax is up in the air.
Ben’s Bakery on Quinpool Road is closing in December, but the fate of a sculpture outside of the factory is uncertain.
The bakery commissioned the sculpture, titled Life, which was designed by artist Joseph Drapell and installed in 1968.
When it was new, the sculpture’s concrete was painted bright pink and the Plexiglas panels reflected vibrant colours onto the street below. Forty-seven years later, the concrete is crumbling, exposing rusting rebar, and the Plexiglas has faded.
Now it will be up to the new owner of the Ben’s Bakery property to decide what to do with the sculpture. Drapell says he will accept whatever happens.
Some people think the sculpture is an eyesore.
“To be honest, I think this thing should be removed, because it’s Quinpool (Road) right, and I think every corner on this street should be some functional stuff,” said Yang Lu, the owner of a lighting store next to the sculpture.
In downtown Halifax, another piece of public art seems to have a more secure future.
A mural depicting tall ships in Halifax Harbour was commissioned by the Downtown Halifax Business Commission to mark the tall ships visit to Halifax in 2000.
The building at 1729 Barrington St. is now owned by local candy store Freak Lunchbox. Last month, the store posted to its Facebook and Twitter accounts, seeking an established artist to produce a privately funded piece of public art to replace the murals.
"An operator, a business operator, who owns the building and wants to put something else on it, he has every right to do that," said Halifax councillor Gloria McCluskey.
Freak Lunchbox does plan on relocating the current mural, which is made of easily removed panels.
"I think public art is great, we have a few sculpture-type things in front of our library building in Dartmouth, done by Dawn McNutt, and they're quite fascinating," said McCluskey.
The Freak Lunchbox hasn’t said where exactly the mural will go. The artist has been told that a prominent place has been found near the Halifax waterfront.
With files from CTV’s Ron Shaw