September 18, 2009
by Canadian Architect
Chris Titus, Chairman of Saint John Transit has announced that in conjunction with the construction of its new Operations Centre, Saint John Transit implemented the City of Saint John’s One Percent for Art Program. The selected artists from this prestigious national competition are Monica Adair and Stephen Kopp, founders of the design group the Acre Collective based in Saint John, New Brunswick.
The selected work is entitled in transit. The work will be installed outside the new headquarters building along the concrete retaining wall, and will consist of 85 unique aluminum panels (measuring 610 mm wide x 3050 mm high), each one depicting traffic signs – the language of the road – that have been reinterpreted to create a vibrant foreground and streetscape to the terminal. Ten of the panels will be sculpted into simple benches whose form is inspired by the simplicity of the bus seat. Each panel will be anchored to the existing retaining wall, creating a new landscape of colour that will run along MacDonald Street and will also be readily visible from Loch Lomond Road.
Earlier this year, Saint John Transit invited professional artists across Canada to submit formal proposals to create permanent public artwork. A three-person jury was faced with the initial challenge of reviewing and then shortlisting proponents from across Canada who responded to the request for submissions. After carefully reviewing site conditions and the recommendations of the jury and the Saint John Transit Public Art Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors of Saint John Transit selected in transit.
The One Percent for Art Program is part of the Saint John Arts and Culture Policy adopted by Common Council on September 20, 2005. The purposes of the One Percent for Art Program are to enhance culture and the arts in Saint John; to provide opportunities for established artists to exhibit quality works of art in public spaces; and to enhance public awareness of the visual arts in the city.
The Acre Collective, selected as one of this year’s young emerging designers in Canada for the Twenty + Change exhibition, poises itself as a practice of emerging artists and designers whose work seeks to broaden the field of art, architecture and design. The idea for the Acre Collective started on a rooftop in Brooklyn, New York, where a group of artists, writers, thinkers and designers realized that – working together – they could contribute more significantly than any one of them working alone. Conceived as a fresh and flexible way to tackle projects and ideas, the collective brings together the right team for the right project.
Founders and team “corrallers” are Stephen Kopp and Monica Adair, Master of Architecture graduates from the Architecture, Landscape and Design program at the University of Toronto. The collective is currently based in Saint John, New Brunswick, and has been involved in projects that emphasize artistic expression, craftsmanship, and local tradition, but approaches each project as a unique design challenge. Stephen and Monica aspire to engage viewers through their art in hopes to open a dialogue of new ideas. The Acre views public art as an opportunity to heighten awareness of our surroundings, question our assumptions, and actively transform the environment in which we live.