Courtesy MacKenzie Art Gallery
Allen Sapp's "The Pow-wow"
Allen Sapp's "The Pow-wow" installed in Regina.
The MacKenzie Art Gallery is expanding its outdoor installation of art reproductions scattered across downtown Regina.
Copies of five artworks in the MacKenzie’s permanent collection, among the gallery’s public favourites, are being placed along city streets and in Victoria Park, adding to the seven installed in September 2015 in various locations.
The new reproductions, to be unveiled Sept. 30, are of works by Colleen Cutschall, David Garneau, Marion Long, Arthur McKay and Mary Pratt — all Canadian artists.
“I’ve tried where possible to create a connection between the painting and the place where it is installed,” MacKenzie head curator Timothy Long explained.
That connection is sometimes ironic.
For example, Long’s painting of a mysterious woman in a kimono, called “Black and Gold,” is being installed in front of the formerly men’s only Assiniboia Club building on Victoria Avenue.
In 1933 the Toronto-based artist became the second woman to gain full membership in the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
“I thought, here’s a woman who broke into the old boys’ club,” the curator said. “She deserves to be outside this old boys’ club.”
As well, Garneau’s painting of a Metis flag rising like a flower is being situated “maybe 100 feet” from the British and Canadian flags flying in front of the downtown legion, he said.
“These things speak to each other. Once you put artwork out in public space a whole other range of interpretations come into play,” Long said.
Last year’s installation featured works by Roy Kiyooka, Wanda Koop, Piet Mondrian, Francois Musin, Allen Sapp, Harold Town and Mary E. Wrinch. A map of their locations — near Regina’s city hall, in Victoria Park and Wascana Park — is at bit.ly/2c1F2wV.
The painting by Musin, who was from Belgium, is located across the street from where the original was once housed, in the collection of Norman MacKenzie, founder of what has become Saskatchewan’s largest public art gallery. The original work, of a storm at sea, survived a tornado that ripped the roof off MacKenzie’s home.
The gallery’s outdoor program, a partnership with the city and the downtown Business Improvement District, was inspired by a similar undertaking by the Detroit Institute of Arts and makes use of recent advances in printing technology to produce attractive works that can survive exposure to a harsh climate.
Long said he’s surprised at how well the first seven have stood up to the sun and snow. “They do look spectacular,” he said, “just as fresh as the day they were installed.”
The goal is to swap some of the reproductions out with new ones over time if funding for the program, dubbed “art(outside),” can be maintained.
“We know that it’s reaching people,” Long said. “People walk by and they look and they take a second look, and then they walk over and read the descriptions that we present alongside the artworks.
“I think it enriches people’s lives on a daily basis, just passing by these incredible creations.”
Long plans to lead a free tour of the new installations on Sept. 30 after the unveiling.