West Hillhurst home is a work of art
Published Saturday, September 3, 2011 4:52PM MDT
The combination of a gigantic blank canvas and the absence of rules would bring a smile to the face of most artists.
Eight Calgary artists were given the opportunity to transform a 100-year-old home into a massive art installation.
The art project is a final sendoff for the house as it's slated for demolition later this month.
Caitlind Brown is the curator of the installation and also one of the artists. She is thrilled by the artistic freedom of the piece.
"That's the most exciting thing about this project," says Brown. "Having all these walls, and ceilings, and floors to work with. You can wreck things and it doesn't matter. That freedom doesn't come very often."
As a wedding gift to the new owners, neighbours commissioned the artists to create something inside the doomed house.
It was as much a gift to the artists as it was to the newlyweds.
"Space in Calgary is hard (to come by)," says Brown. "It's difficult as an artist. It's expensive and any space helps a lot."
A sentiment echoed by artist Ashley Bristowe.
"Calgary has a dearth of artistic spaces and the arts in Canada want for space," says Bristowe.
The artists took full advantage of their new space. The final product comes complete with a slide, an artistic aquarium and a Tim Burton-esque room.
Hundreds of art-lovers have explored the house and many have contributed art of their own.
"We tend to tear things down so quickly here and build new things," says art lover Xstine Cook. "Why not have a chance for artists to experiment and play with the space before it gets torn down?"
"Calgary needs places for where artists can expose their projects and their ideas and their mediums," says Mike Jeffery, while touring the installation. "I think it's a great idea."
The artists say they'd love to do it again.
"I hope it's not a once in life time chance," says Brown. "I hope this happens again!"
If you have a condemned home or building you would like to donate as an artistic venue, contact Caitlind Brown at email@example.com or 403-616-3147