STREET MEET FESTIVAL CELEBRATES PUBLIC ART AND URBAN ECOLOGY IN SASKATOON
WE HAVE ALL DRIVEN, CYCLED OR WALKED PAST SASKATOON’S WIDE ARRAY OF PUBLIC ART, AND IT HAS HELPED TO SHAPE OUR IDEA OF WHAT
‘PUBLIC ART’ MEANS. MANY OF US EXPECT IT TO BE PERMANENT, DURABLE, LARGE-SCALE AND SCULPTURAL. BUT ARE THERE OTHER POSSIBILITIES?
Street Meet, Saskatoon’s 4th Annual Street, Public and Graffiti Art Festival, is a three- day summer festival celebrating new, contemporary public art that explores urban ecology.
Street Meet features three days of temporary and permanent public art, a workshop, public walking tour and community discussion. These events invite the public to participate and explore new and exciting ways to make and appreciate public art. Street Meet 2016 sets out to discuss the intersections between street, public and graffiti art and our urban ecology. Festival Director Alana Moore has commissioned local artists who call attention to the ways urban wildlife, plant life and human relationships influence public space and urban living.
This year’s festival opens with a keynote talk by Elizabeth Chitty (St. Catharines, ON), whose interdisciplinary practice has focused on site, temporality, corporeality and process for over four decades, which she addresses through writing, performance, video, and installation. Elizabeth will share images of her past work in the public realm, through lenses of relationships with the land through walking, indigenous/settler reconciliation and social space.
Feature artists include:
Barbara Reimer (Saskatoon, SK) will present her most recent experiments with handmade paper and plaster moulds. Responding to a year of house-sitting in the North End of Saskatoon, Barb has started to make paper from lawn clippings. She uses the paper to fill plaster molded “snapshots” of lawns and the landscape of suburbia. Barb’s installation for Street Meet explores ideas of materiality and waste, while testing sculpture as a documentary medium.
Cate Francis (Saskatoon, SK) presents, Paper Wildlife Conservancy (PWC), her most recent project funded through the City of Saskatoon’s Placemaker (public art) program. Cate will install approximately 100 wheat paste animals onto the buildings of businesses throughout Saskatoon who choose to participate as habitat providers. These silkscreened prints will depict species that are native to The Saskatchewan River Valley, have adapted to living in an urban environment, and are essential to the local ecosystem. This project asks us to consider how we interact with urban wildlife. For Street Meet’s Walking Tour, Cate will lead the public to the various habitats of her hand printed animals in the Riversdale neighborhood.
Josh Jacobson, known as Evak (Saskatoon, SK), will be painting a thoughtful large-scale graffiti piece on the MGM building on Avenue E and 20th Street. It will be ambitious in both its scale and colour palette. His current approach encompasses abstract techniques: bright colors intersect with hard-edge geometric shapes, some made of perfectly spaced curved lines, like grooves on a record. His focus is to balance intricate geometrical elements and smooth organic aspects of the work. The result is something direct, deliberate and responsive to nature and urban architecture.
Street Meet partners with Void Gallery
Cate Francis presents, Paper Wildlife Conservancy (PWC), her most recent project funded through the City of Saskatoon’s Placemaker program. Void Gallery will host Cate’s, Excerpts from the collection of the Paper Wildlife Conservancy, the Placemaker Meet the Artist Event, and a Wheatpaste Workshop led by the artist. Void Gallery will also serve as headquarters for the project throughout July, showing works related thematically and providing further background and context for the project. To find out about Finding City, visit their website.
Street Meet in Riversdale
Street Meet’s Keynote Address, Panel Discussion and Walking tour all take place in the Riversdale District, one of Saskatoon’s oldest neighbourhoods.
To find out about the Riversdale Business Improvement District, visit their website.