By: Katie Stoneman
Hamilton’s Claremont access will soon get an artistic facelift, and it won’t be at the hands of graffiti artists. The plan is to commission a mural for the walls of the Claremont access that faces Carter Park.
“The Carter Park art mural will represent a new beginning for our neighbourhood and we are very excited about it,” said Brian Goodman, president of the Stinson Community Association.
An open call to artists for the Carter Park mural is currently being prepared and should be released this month. The mural will be located on the concrete wall of the Claremont access that is considered quite an eyesore in the area.
A report from the focus group for the project outlines the goals of the mural. The report states that, “The Claremont access does not contribute to the quality of the park and is seen as physically dividing the neighbourhood. Any art work should minimize (the Claremont Access’s) impact on the park.”
“The mural will be an immediate focus point, an attraction and will give life and meaning to that cold impersonal wall. In an underlying way it suggests pride, safety, and announces there is a wonderful community here,” said Goodman.
The city had an open call for artists for the same project last year, but the mural was never completed.
Part of the issue was problems some artists were having with the city’s art procurement process. Complaints were made about having to pay the non-refundable fee of $64.99 online or $45.99 in person for the Request for Proposal documents. The process has since been reviewed and revised.
The review suggested that the fees be waived, and that the responsibility of the administration of the Public Art Acquisition Process be turned over to the Tourism and Culture Divisions city staff.
Another part of the issue was with the submissions made last year.
“The jury didn’t feel they got the propositions they wanted,” said Ken Coit, the City of Hamilton’s Art in Public Places Coordinator.
The jury, which remains confidential, is different for each project. The focus group, or jury, is usually made up of artists, stakeholders, business people and other people with an interest in the project.
“It usually takes three to four months once we actually have the submissions in. We have to leave time for the artists process,” said Coit.
There are currently two other pubic art projects that are in the consultation stage for the city of Hamilton, including the Battlefield Park art competition.
The consultation stage asks the public for their opinion on the proposed art projects. For Battlefield Park there are three propositions under a theme that interprets the outcomes of Battle of Stoney Creek and the War of 1812.
“The importance of a public art project cannot be understated. Besides providing a point of interest, it provides a dialogue that transcends what language you speak, what religion you follow, or what mental state you are in,” said Goodman.
This article is also abbreviated and published at The Bay Observer and in April’s print edition