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Squirrel, pigeon statues return to Princess Street after winter hibernation

A new public artwork entitled The Wilds of Kingston by Canadian contemporary artist, Brandon Vickerd, has been permanently reinstalled at the corner of Princess and Division streets. The artwork was temporarily de-installed at the beginning of winter.

The Wilds of Kingston by Brandon Vickerd, a new sculptural public artwork for the intersection of Princess and Division Street, has been temporarily deinstalled by the City of Kingston for the 2021-2022 winter season. This is due to cold weather temperatures that impacted the long-term stability of the installation,” the City of Kingston’s Public Art Department said in early December 2021, shortly after the project was removed from the downtown corner.

The Wilds of Kingston consists of two bronze figures that use humour to challenge the perceptions of sculpture and how it functions, according to a release from the City. The project was announced by the City of Kingston in July of 2021, commissioned through the City’s Public Art Program, and installed in late November 2021.

“After a long winter, we’re excited to re-introduce Brandon’s dynamic sculptures as a permanent artwork in downtown Kingston,” said Danika Lochhead, Manager, Arts, and Sector Development. “The installation invites reflection on the relationship between people, nature, and the urban environment and creates a new landmark in the area and asks people to think differently about what they see every day.”

Vickerd is a Hamilton-based artist and Professor of Sculpture at York University, where he also serves as Chair of the Department of Visual Arts and Art History. His public artworks are exhibited across Canada in Ottawa, Calgary, Waterloo, Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Edmonton. According to the City, his sculptural work straddles the line between high and low culture and combines craftsmanship with spectacle and humour to provoke a response and question Western world views, traditions, and ways of thinking.

According to the City, this public artwork is part of The HUB Project, a multi-phase initiative designed to connect three neighbourhoods, including Williamsville, Sydenham, and King’s Town, through artful interventions designed to make the intersection of Princess and Division Streets, also known as “The Hub”, more welcoming and friendly for everyone. Learn more about “The Wilds of Kingston” and The HUB Project.

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One thought on “Squirrel, pigeon statues return to Princess Street after winter hibernation

  • April 29, 2022 at 10:32 am
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    I really like those instillations. They are, quite frankly, brilliant! I was loving looking at them.
    But, (and there’s always a “but” in these conversations)~ I’m wondering why a Kingston sculptor wasn’t commissioned, instead of a sculptor from Hamilton? Queen’s has a fine arts program and I’m sure one or more professors are sculptors who are from Kingston or at least live here. Nothing against the current sculptures. At all. I just wished it had been sculpted here by a local. If you’ve gotten this far~thanks for reading!
    Jenn

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