After nearly a two-year process, the City of Kingston has selected and announced the public art proposal to be installed in Victoria Park this summer.
Kingston-based artist Nicholas Crombach’s ‘Horse and Cart’ will be a permanent sculpture at the recently-revitalized Victoria Park. Crombach’s proposal was selected by a jury made up of both members of the Kingston arts community and residents of Williamsvile, the district where the popular park stands.
The project, which has a budget of $55,000, is being facilitated by the City of Kingston as part of its Public Art Master Plan and Public Art Policy. The construction of the public artwork is scheduled to begin this month, and is expected to be completed by August 2020.
“The City saw an opportunity with the Victoria Park renovation in 2017 to add even more to the renewal of this space through public art,” said Danika Lochhead, Manager of Arts and Sector Development for the City of Kingston. “Nicholas’ proposal embodies the goal of the public art project to add a new dynamic, playful and accessible experience to Victoria Park that will engage the imagination of park visitors through a sculpture that brings the past to life in a creative way.”
Crombach, who is currently working here in Kingston, has exhibited his works in Ontario, Quebec, and Europe. He is a sculpture artist whose work evokes the styles and themes of European art from the Baroque and Victorian eras, according to the City of Kingston.
“Crombach’s work disrupts these historical references by looking at them through a modern lens and adding unexpected materials and details. His work twists known frames of reference, creates contemporary confrontations, and tells new stories,” the City said in a press release on Monday, Mar. 9, 2020.
‘Horse and Cart’ will reference the horse-and-buggy era when Victoria Park was established. It takes the form of an old-fashioned, wooden children’s tricycle. It will be produced at the scale of a life-size horse, and the “enlarged children’s toy appears as if it is coming to life, transforming from an inanimate object into a trotting horse that is pulling a cart,” the City said.
The City suggests that the sculpture, once completed, can be interpreted as a horse transforming into a toy, which mirrors the history of the park itself – Victoria Park was once a plot of farmland that was granted to the City for the purpose of developing a park for recreational enjoyment and leisure activities.
The commissioning of the sculpture, known as the Victoria Park Public Art Project, was a two-phase procurement process that began with a Request for Information (RFI) in April of 2018, and then a Request for Proposal (RFP) in October of 2018. The following April, the City held a public engagement session at the Memorial Centre, where members of the community were invited to meet with the five short-listed artists, view their proposals, and provide feedback. That feedback was provided to the artists to refine their proposals before final submission.
For more information on the City’s Public Art Program, click here.
For more information on the artist, Nicholas Crombach, click here.