Have you ever worked at something SO HARD? How did it feel when you were done? Wonderful. Rewarding. Satisfying. I’ll bet. I know the feeling. I (Lon) was chosen as one of 32 local artists to have my artwork displayed on billboards and LRT stations across Edmonton for #YEGCANVAS. On Tuesday, December 8th the Edmonton Arts Council (EAC) hosted an official launch for #YEGCANVAS at Tix On The Square. It was so nice to meet EVERYONE associated with the project and celebrate our combined successes as everything came to a head. Most projects aren’t lucky or well organized enough to have an official launch so I definitely made sure that I was able to attend. I took the day off of work and we made a family event out of it. I was excited to have my wife and our 7 month old in tow.
Upon our arrival we were greeted by Public Art Officer Robert Harpin. Robert was my main contact at the EAC. He eagerly helped me from turning my accepted designs into a poster and billboards. He was great to work with. Cleverly the EAC have turned all the artworks into 2.5″ x 4.25″ trading cards. Each of the collectable trading cards feature one of the 45 artworks along with the artists name on the front and access to further information about the project on the back. Collect them all! I was happy to receive one of each of my designs as well as cards from some of my favourite local artists like Yong Fei Guan, Brandon Atkinson, Keith-yin Sun & Judi Chan, Emily Chu and a family favourite, Jared Robinson. I was also presented with one of these cards doubled as a name tag which was a brilliant way to identify the artists and engage conversation with other artists, organizers and attendees at the event.
It was great chatting with many of the artists in attendance. One of the highlights for me was when Public Art Director Katherine Kerr spotted my name tag and came over and introduced herself. I was elated to meet her as she had left the most wonderful congratulatory message on our answering machine to notify me of 3 of my pieces being selected. Her warmth, excitement and dedication towards public art is contagious. It is so nice to have such a wonderful personality representing pubic art in Edmonton. After taking part in the #YEGCANVAS group photograph my family made our way down to Churchill Station to experience some public art for ourselves. Truthfully, it seemed liked the perfect way to celebrate the spirit and backbone of the event.
As luck would have it CBC was there filming my poster whilst we were interacting with it. After the videographer engaged us and inquired if that was indeed my piece I was more then happy to gush and blab about one of my ‘babies’. While being extremely nerve racking there is no greater honour that an artist can have then talking about one of their works while being photographed in front of it. It’s such a thrill and being a populist nothing makes me happier than bringing my work into the eyes and homes of the public. SO. COOL.
Well, my feet still haven’t touched the ground! It is so nice to see #YEGCANVAS and my contribution to it so well received after so many people worked so hard on it!