Artists and Developers Collaborate to Deliver Innovative Public Art Projects for Zibi - Zibi Skip to Content

Artists and Developers Collaborate to Deliver Innovative Public Art Projects for Zibi


Three public art projects imagined through Artscape Atelier and Zibi’s virtual Public Art Co-Design Residency were selected for further development

Ottawa, September 15, 2020 – An innovative Public Art Co-Design Residency by Artscape Atelier and Zibi was reimagined to involve artists virtually in the planning of urban spaces, resulting in three innovative public art projects to be developed for the Zibi site in Ottawa-Gatineau.

Projects by visual artist and abstract sculptor, Nate Nettleton, multimedia artist, poet and musician, Dominic Lafontaine, and interdisciplinary artist, Noah Scheinman, are moving into a second phase of development.

“Based on Artscape Atelier’s belief that artists should play a larger role in building meaningful public spaces and planning our urban environments, the Public Art Co-Design Residency was an experiment in collaboration, bringing together multidisciplinary artists with developers and urban planners, to reimagine public space.” says Assaf Weisz, Artscape’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Artscape is so proud of the outcome of this co-design process which will result in three new public art projects for Ottawa and Gatineau.”

Instead of cancelling the seven-month residency due to the pandemic, Artscape Atelier wanted to support artists with paid opportunities, so the team reimagined its design and delivery. The resulting Public Art Co-Design Residency involved eight artists, including Naomi Blondin, Mélodie Coutou, John Felice Ceprano, Remco Volmer, Ryan Stec, Nate Nettleton, Noah Scheinman and Dominic Lafontaine.

Facilitated by Ottawa artist and cultural connector, Brendan A. de Montigny, on behalf of Artscape Atelier, the Public Art Co-Design Residency guided the participants through an immersive and creative co-design process, collaborating with their peers, local Indigenous groups, and the Artscape Atelier and Zibi teams from June to August, 2020, to develop new works that celebrate the rich history of the site. The process was designed to educate artists on the Indigenous, industrial and environmental history of the site through speakers and mentors like Adrian Gӧllner (artist), Willy Dick (educator from Algonquins of Pikwakanagan), Time Desclouds (artist), Josee Bourgeois (Memengweshii Council) and more.

The Public Art Co-Design Residency culminated in August with the presentation of seven public art concepts developed by the participants to a jury made up of Zibi and Artscape Atelier leadership, Christina Ruddy (Memingweshi Council), Marisa Gallemit ( artist), and Jason St-Laurent (Curator of SAW Gallery).

After deliberation, Nate Nettleton’s sun shape sculptures were selected for further approval before being moved into production later this fall. Developed in collaboration with the Algonquin-Anishinaabe Memengweshii Council, visual artist and abstract sculptor, Nate Nettleton’s proposed interactive, multi-piece public art experience acts as a wayfinding tool, guiding pedestrians through the Zibi waterfront city toward the sunrise or sunset.
Two more public art concepts by Noah Scheinman and Dominic Lafontaine have also been selected for further development with the Zibi team with future plans to produce them for the site.

Interdisciplinary artist Noah Scheinman’s proposal involved reimagining salvage materials, including transforming an existing pulper at Zibi to create a series of sculptural works for the public to enjoy. As well, multimedia artist, poet and musician, Dominic Lafontaine’s proposed pop-art sculpture will serve as a landmark for the community.

“Creative placemaking and public art that celebrate the rich history of our site are critical to the experience we are trying to build throughout Zibi,” says Daniel Marinovic, Chief Development Officer, Dream Unlimited. “We were pleased to have the opportunity to support local artists through this creative exercise and look forward to seeing how these creative projects manifest themselves in our community.”

Meet the artists event

Now with the residency complete and the projects selected, Artscape Atelier and Artscape Daniels Launchpad invite the public to attend a panel discussion on Friday, September 18 featuring seven of the eight participants. In a conversation moderated by Ottawa-based artist Marisa Gallemit, the participating artists will reflect on the virtual residency experience, discuss the role of the artists in imagining public spaces, and describe the co-design process in developing public art works.



Date: Friday, September 18, 2020
Time: 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Moderator: Marisa Gallemit

Artist Bios: All participant bios can be viewed here.

Image: Artist rendering, Nate Nettleton’s sun shape sculptures


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