East Downtown


As we started our SINV 4401 class with Dr. Catherine Pearl, the course instructor, we were tasked with the Jane’s Art Walk Assignment. Through this assignment, Catherine had challenged each team of students to explore the art that the city of Calgary has on display. Each group was allocated a certain sector of the downtown core to explore and take pictures of the best art pieces that they found and reflect on.

Our group was given the east section of downtown where we explored along 1st Street SE, starting at 4th Ave SW to 9th Ave SW. Then we walked back up along Macleod Trail, through City Hall and towards the new Central Library where we found so many extraordinary pieces of artwork. For each of us, it was our first time doing a Jane’s Walk and we found it to be a very eye-opening adventure. Specifically, it was interesting to learn the history and meaning behind each piece of art. Without the Jane’s walk project, we would not have learned that Calgary is home to a significant number of public art. Through our entire walk we observed several pieces of art that none of us realized existed. It was exciting to find that even the smallest, unpopulated corners of downtown Calgary held some of the most interesting artwork.     

It was very surprising to see how diverse the pieces of artwork were. In the small radius that our group covered, we were able to see artwork ranging from old to new; from the Centre Street Bridge Lion in front of City Hall to the Drinking Birds in front of the new Central Library. There was also diversity ranging from more traditional to contemporary art pieces such as the Women’s are Persons to the futuristic fins within Celebration Square. As a result, Jane’s Art Walk was an exciting and unique experience for the three of us. This assignment opened artistic and creative avenues that our group had never experience before.  

Although the weather was unpleasant and the sky was dull during our walk we felt that the artwork brightened up our day. Viewing each unique piece made the city feel more lively despite the cold, gloomy day. Additionally, we observed that not many people were enjoying or paying attention to the art as they passed by. This was likely due to the cold weather as many people were in a hurry to get inside. This made the streetscape quiet and less vibrant. Perhaps if we do another Jane’s Art Walk during the Spring or Summer we would observe a different attitude towards art.