The City of Calgary Public Art Program, along with the Calgary Fire Department, is excited to announce Calgary’s newest piece of public art, Frozen River, was installed at the Emergency Operations Centre on Wednesday.
Conceptualised by artist Stephen Glassman, the sculpture is a response to Calgary’s inspiring elemental force and beauty – the rolling prairie, the metallic sky, the arctic air, the glacial river, and the emerging mountains. The artist describes the piece as a rambling path of local stone and bent pipe loop-de-loops across the horizon, apparently in motion, defying gravity like a frozen river.
“I am pleased that the public art sculpture is being installed at the Emergency Operations Centre,” said Deputy Chief Greg Wilkes, Calgary Fire Department. “I am also very appreciative of our colleagues at Public Art and the selection panel for their help bringing this piece to the community.”
Prior to developing his concept, the artist travelled to Calgary and met with the then president of the Crescent Heights Community Association to tour the site and learn more about the community and its residents. The piece, which is located on the south side of the Emergency Operations Centre in Rotary Park across from the playground, is a gesture to the native glacial and prairie landscape, and its people.
“I was privileged to be on the selection panel that chose the artist and approved the Frozen River concept.” said John McDermid, former president, Crescent Heights Community Association. “Many Crescent Heights residents and Rotary Park users will have the opportunity to enjoy the piece. It’s my hope that people will possibly even take a moment to contemplate and appreciate their relationship with Calgary’s beautiful landscape.”
Once the main structural elements are installed, the structure will then be filled with local stone, and non-structural landscaping elements will be added in the coming weeks. The installation of the piece will take place over the next month.
Frozen River was commissioned as part of the Emergency Operations Centre capital project and mandated by the Public Art Policy. The selection panel that chose the work was composed of five voting members including a member of the local community association. Jurors felt the art work is a strong and impressive piece that imaginatively engages with our geography.
For more information on this piece or The City of Calgary Public Art Program, visit calgary.ca/publicart.