Photo-worthy Calgary - Public Art in the City

In 2012 Calgary was named the Cultural Capital of Canada. Since that title, the city has seen geat growth in the arts scene. Take a look at just a few of Calgary's unique pieces of public art.

East Village Murals

The Field Manual is a temporary art installation by local artists Daniel J.  Kirk, Kai Cabunoc-Boettcher and Ivan Ostapenko located in Calgary’s East Village area. Their colourful murals adorn underpasses near the RiverWalk, as well as storage sheds and public washroom facilities.

Peace Bridge

Though not technically a public art piece (you know, being a pedestrian bridge and all), the Peace Bridge is nevertheless a favourite spot for local photographers and Instagrammers.

It’s no wonder since the juxtaposition between the Peace Bridge’s bright-red colour and ‘Chinese finger trap’ design, the glass high-rises of downtown Calgary and the natural beauty of the Bow River make for some dynamic photographs.

Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the bridge was a controversial subject in Calgary for a few years because of construction delays and cost overruns. But since opening in 2012, the Peace Bridge has become an iconic image for the city, and as recognizable a structure as the Calgary Tower and the Saddledome.

Stephen Avenue Walk ‘Trees’

These 10 white metal sculptures – which were raised upon the completion of the second Bankers Hall building in 2000 – are not only fun to photograph, but they’re also designed to reduce wind gusts along Stephen Avenue Walk (8th Avenue S.W.)

Each ‘tree’ stands between 21 metres and 26-metres high and they are lit up in different colours at night.

Try standing directly underneath the sculptures and shooting up for a bolder visual.


Photo Credit: James A. Best

Created by world-renowned Spanish designer, Jaume Plensa, Wonderland is a spectacular 12 metre-high structure in the shape of a young girl’s head.

Photos of Wonderland can be taken at several different angles, including from inside the sculpture.

That it’s located on the south side of Calgary’s tallest and most visually striking skyscraper, The Bow Building, is an added bonus.

Chinook Arc

This piece, located in Barb Scott Park at 9th Street and 12th Avenue S.W., is best viewed in the evening as it illuminates and changes colour. You might even want to use the recording option on your phone or camera as Chinook Arc is an interactive sculpture, changing its lighting sequence with the wave of a hand.

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