Downtown art installation reflects Kingston’s Market Square over time

Paved Paradise 2022 is now installed in downtown Kingston. A new public art display invites passersby to reimagine how they see Springer Market Square.

According to a release from the City of Kingston, Paved Paradise is an annual public art project that features the work of Kingston-based artists on pedestrian-level billboards across from City Hall. The project was created in 2018 by the City’s Arts & Culture Services department as a response to a Council directive to ‘beautify’ the City parking lot at the corner of Ontario and Brock streets, the City stated.

“Now in its fifth year, Paved Paradise continues to offer a highly visible public platform for emerging artists in Kingston,” said Danika Lochhead, Manager, Arts and Sector Development.

The City’s Public Art Program supports the creation of contemporary public art by emerging and established artists through commissions and artist collaborations. According to the release, 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 the program, the City said that it 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. 

According to the release, this year’s Paved Paradise features a new exhibit by Kingston artists Bree Rappaport and Lee Stewart. Titled Liminal Square, the exhibit invites viewers to consider a new perspective of Springer Market Square as a public space through colour and mixed media, overlayed and collaged on archival photos, according to the release.

The artists bring a new perspective to the surroundings by including photographs of the immediate physical viewpoint, inviting community members and visitors to think about the rich history of the space and how it has been shaped over time, the City stated.

A jury made up of local artists and curators reviewed 16 submissions and selected Rappaport and Stewart’s proposal. The City provides the exhibition infrastructure, coordinates the production and installation of the artworks, and covers all associated costs, including signage. Liminal Square was installed yesterday, Monday, Jul. 11, 2022, and will be exhibited until November.

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