Public Art

St. Catharines has a vibrant visual arts community that shares its bounty through exhibits, outdoor art and temporary art installations. The City of St. Catharines provides an ongoing exhibit program at City Hall, and has a public art collection of permanent and temporary artworks found throughout City buildings, parks and property. Additional art exhibits by community organizations can be found outside the walls of St. Catharines' many galleries.

Artists interested in the City's public art commissions and calls to artists can access current information through this page and the City's Cultural Services office.

Carlisle Street Public Art Project

Curtain Call by artist Lilly Otasevic

Curtain Call by artist Lilly Otasevic is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage Canada 150 Program as a legacy component of Celebration of Nations as well as the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre’s public art reserve. It was constructed in the summer of 2019.

Curtain Call draws inspiration from several key elements. The historical Indigenous presence and a contemporary Celebration of Nations and its “Two Row Wampum” ideology turned Otasevic's focus to the Indigenous lens. The main and only building block for this sculpture is a wampum bead. Rather than representing a particular pattern on a belt, she exaggerated the size of a bead to “weave” a wavy fabric that incorporates random colors.The multiple colors reflect our demographic and cultural diversity. The randomness of colors represents interconnectedness of different people from diverse locations in the world that came and became part of our contemporary social fabric. This is continuously changing, organic, and dynamic.

Lilly Otasevic is a Toronto-based award-winning visual artist, industrial designer and a curator. Lilly was born and raised in Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia. She completed a program at High School of Industrial Design in Belgrade, and studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade. Lilly moved to Canada in 1994, and since then has exhibited in Canada, USA, Europe, United Arab Emirates and China. Even though a trained painter Otasevic's main body of work consists of sculptural and photo-based work. Her art is driven by her interests in nature and higher order of things in the universe. Her growing up in a society with recycling practices in the early 80s, has influenced Lilly’s interest in ecology and environment since childhood.

Vestiges

Vestiges by artist Amy Friend

Vestiges by artist Amy Friend was commissioned for the opening of the St. Catharines First Ontario Performing Arts Centre. It was selected in October 2015. The artwork was installed in the main lobby at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and officially revealed to the public in an opening reception held on May 2, 2018.

“Throughout my life I have been surrounded by the accumulated possessions of deceased relatives – remnants of the past were omnipresent. My Immigrant family, who lived through the Great Depression, threw nothing away. I was aware that specific items "had belonged" to people I once knew, through stories of family history: the deceased occupied a place in our home. It was not until my own grandmother's death that I started to see these remnants of personal family history as possible material for my work. I began to collect items that once belonged to my grandmother. My close relationship with her intensified my desire to keep her possessions. Her nightgowns particularly fascinated me. The worn areas, marks of where her body had been emitting an aura of her presence. The nightgowns were my beginning.”

–Amy Friend, Artist Statement

Amy Friend is a visual artist who grew up on the outskirts of Windsor. She studied at OCADU (Toronto), received a BFA Honours degree and BEd degree from York University, Toronto and an MFA from the University of Windsor. Friend currently teaches Fine Arts at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts, Brock University. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions.

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