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Calgary Public Art: An Auspicious Find at Prince's Island Park

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Lucas Taylor Apr 18, 2018 5:00 am 159

Some may call it auspicious, but we’d call this find beautiful.

Completed back in November of 2004, An Auspicious Find is a four part sculpture in Prince’s Island Park, located on a pathway intersection between the pedestrian overpass on Memorial Drive and the Jaipur Bridge near Eau Claire.

Consisting of four pixelated images on stone columns, An Auspicious Find is made with about 15,000 glass marbles set into riveted steel. The images created depict natural sights a person might find while walking through the park.

The theme of the project was to capture the elements of the environment of Prince’s Island Park, as well as the ecological aspects a visitor would encounter. These include air, water, and land.

A different take on the artistic concept of a stained glass window, the viewer’s changing point of view and the natural light play into how the images look.

This public art piece is something of an oddity in Calgary, in that it is nearly universally appreciated. Like any public art in the city, there are critics who say that any piece of public art is a waste of tax dollars, but An Auspicious Find seems to be widely enjoyed.

Behind An Auspicious Find

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Artist Lori Sobkowich, a local Calgarian, is known for her skills in fine art, art glass, and scenic stage and film craft. She has several other works in Calgary and has received commissions both public and corporate. Her work can be seen in the Calgary International Airport and at the ENMAX place.

An Auspicious Find had a budget of $24,000. Sobkowich was chosen through an open call process where all interested artists were invited to submit an application for the project.

An Auspicious Find was a collaborative project between the Public Art Program and the City of Calgary Parks Department.


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Lucas Taylor
Lucas Taylor is a Calgarian writer for the Daily Hive. He loves writing about the cultural goings-on in the city and proving that Calgary isn't just oil and cowboy hats... but there is a lot of that.

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