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New downtown public art installations part of The Hub Project

Installation at Princess and Division streets, showcasing Jason Heroux’s poetry and illustrator Grace Sylvester’s work. Image courtesy of The City Of Kingston.

Kingston residents will notice a new billboard with public artwork at the downtown intersection of Princess and Division streets, above the UPS store.

The billboard is part of The Hub Project and will feature poetry-based artworks from January to September 2021, according to a release from the City of Kingston, dated Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. The first installation features a new short poem written by the City’s Poet Laureate, Jason Heroux, and designed by local illustrator Grace Sylvester. The poem was written in response to the themes for public art in the area identified through a public consultation process. The City says the current artwork will be in place until March 2021, at which time a new poetry-based piece will be installed. The participating poets will be selected by Heroux.  

According to the release, The Hub Project is a multiphase initiative designed to connect neighbourhoods through art by making a series of temporary and permanent improvements to the intersection of Princess and Division streets, known as “The Hub.” This project is part of the City of Kingston’s Public Art Program that supports the creation of permanent, temporary and community public artworks and projects. 

Upcoming public engagement opportunity 

In March 2020, the City issued a call to artists through a Request for Qualifications for the Princess Street Sidewalk Project, a permanent public art intervention for the Hub. According to the release, a Jury selected and short-listed three artists to submit proposals for this project. The artists are Christine Dewancker, Don Maynard, and Brandon Vickerd. From Monday, Jan. 18 to Friday, Feb. 5, 2021 residents will be invited to view the artists’ preliminary proposals and provide their feedback on GetInvolved.CityofKingston.ca. This feedback will be provided to the artists who will consider it as they prepare their final proposals.

The City says this is the second round of public consultation related to The Hub Project and follows a series of in-person sessions and online opportunities facilitated through Get Involved Kingston in 2018. The City heard from 350 people who shared input and ideas regarding themes and the types of public art that could be integrated into the intersection of Princess and Division streets, according to the release. 

Art Bike Stands 

Another permanent public artwork slated for installation in the Hub includes two artist-designed bike stands. According to the City, these bike stands are intended to be playful, adding vibrancy and colour to the area and generating new ways of thinking about the urban environment and street furniture. Through an open call for submissions, local, emerging contemporary artist Jenny Moring and her designs were selected for the project by the City’s Public Art Working Group. 

The City says both the Princess Street Sidewalk Project and Art Bike Stands will be installed by the end of Summer 2021. 

About the City of Kingston’s Public Art Program 

The City of Kingston’s Public Art Program supports the creation of contemporary public art by emerging and established artists through commissions and artist collaborations. The program produces art for public spaces throughout the city, contributes to developing a vibrant public realm in Kingston, and enhances a sense of community across the City, in the downtown, suburban, rural, and natural areas. Through this program, the City is committed to working with artists, residents and the public and private sectors in the ongoing development and implementation of public art projects to establish Kingston as a hub of creative placemaking that recognizes and builds on the City’s diverse history, engages its community, and inspires its future leaders. See the City’s Public Art page for more details.

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