A call went out to people who live, work or go to school in Toronto to submit design proposals for the utility hole covers that will adorn the new streets of Regent Park. Torontonians were invited to submit proposals for one, two or three of the cover types. Over 275 people submitted 660 designs. The winning designs were announced Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at the opening of a special exhibition of all thirty short listed proposals.
Grounds For Art Exhibition at the Toronto Free Gallery
Winner DeMuth Flake (2nd from left) with Mayor David Miller (left) and Director of Regent Park Focus, Adonis Huggins and Executive Director of Toronto Culture, Rita Davies
Winner Xin Xu discussing her winning design with Mayor David Miller
Winner Rene Zamic
About GROUNDS FOR ART
Toronto Culture invited Torontonians to submit designs for new custom-made utility hole covers that will decorate the streets of Regent Park. A new street system is being laid as part of the revitalization of Regent Park and Toronto Culture is using the opportunity to enhance and enliven our public spaces."
Amateur, aspiring or professional artists and designers were invited to submit designs to distinguish the sanitary, storm sewer and the water valve covers. Applicants could submit proposals for one, two or three of the utility hole cover types. An independent selection panel selected a short list of 30 designs (see above). From this short list, three winning designs (one for each utility cover type) were announced on January 16, 2007. Each of the winning designers will receive a cash prize of $1,800. These three designs will be fabricated as a master template, which will be used to cast the covers for utility holes throughout the Regent Park redevelopment, beginning in spring 2007.
Toronto's streets are adorned with thousands of iron disks that go largely unnoticed but are an essential part of a functioning city-discrete portals between the city we live and work in, and the working city. Custom-designed utility hole covers will transform these functional covers into public works of art, enhancing the character and vibrancy of public spaces for both people who live and work in the city.
Toronto's sewage system
For information on the history and development of Toronto's sewage system, please visit the online exhibit titled Pipe Dreams created by City of Toronto Archives.
Public Art in the City of Toronto
Toronto Culture seeks to commission innovative public art works that are of the highest quality, are relevant to their prospective community and enrich the experience of Toronto's residents and visitors. The City aims to carry out this ambition through a variety of opportunities for artists, equitable and objective selection processes with valuable input from community members and guidance from relevant professionals.
Toronto Culture staff develop public art projects with the advice of the Art Committee for Public Places. Grounds For Art was developed in consultation with Regent Park Neighbourhood Initiative and will be implemented in co-operation with Toronto Community Housing.