---New public art program approved for Gatineau
Hoping to highlight local artistic talent, culture and heritage, the city of Gatineau’s municipal council has approved a new commemorative public art program – making the announcement during its public meeting on February 16. According to a press release issued by the city on the same date, the program’s mission is to conceive permanent symbolic works of art in each of the city’s districts over the next five years. It stated that the city send out a call for candidates to professional artists living or having resided in the Outaouais.
To be eligible, one must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, an artist living or having lived in the Outaouais, or must be a professional visual artist as defined by the provincial government’s Loi sur le statut professionnel des artistes des arts visuels des métiers d’art et de la littérature. It added that the jury will select the best pieces according to an established criteria, noting that an additional elected member will be called upon to participate to each step of the program, for every project submitted. It stated the electee from the district where a piece is selected will have a seat on the selection jury. The criteria will prioritize creativity, and originality; respecting the theme of commemoration; historical approach and concept; the integration of a project in a particular space; a project’s visual impact; its durability and feasibility to preserve; and an artists’ experience level with the creation of comparable projects.
Wanting to evenly spread its repertoire of public art across different sectors in the city, the order in which the artworks will be financed will be as such : Masson-Angers, Buckingham, Gatineau, Aylmer, and Hull. Financing the creation, preservation, and promotion of the art projects, the program includes a $109,000 budget from 2021 to 2025.
Emphasizing the program’s importance when it comes to highlighting Gatineau’s heritage and its artistic diversity, Commission des arts, de la culture, et des lettres President Isabelle N. Miron, encouraged local artists to submit their candidacies. “A clear and transparent selection process will ensure equal chances for the artists,” Miron said in the press release. “So, I hope that this call allows to receive a diversity of artistic propositions that will favour the development of Gatineau’s identity.” Noting that various public art projects have been completed in the sector in relatively recent memory, Aylmer district councillor Audrey Bureau said the west end of the city will be addressed in the latter years of the program. “I think [Aylmer is] in the fourth year of the program,” Bureau said.