I am sharing the article below because it shows the direction Calgary is going. Population growth, new business opening, the western spirit can do spirit is in full force, and the BMO Centre will be a new Jem for our city to highlight. It will be completed next year with over three dozen conferences booked already. This artwork will be outside the main entrance, and like the Face out of the Bow Tower will be a signature piece that will define Calgary. I know there have been a few questions of why not a local artist but under internal trade law, that Canada is a part of, these type of competitions for art, and indeed any infrastructure project is open to bidder’s form around the world.
One of the largest pieces of public art in Calgary will be installed in front of the new BMO Centre inside Stampede Park.
At a cost of $2.25 million, the 21.34-metre (70 foot) high Spirit of Water will be a massive blue steel sculpture depicting a splash of water.
It’s crafted out of more than 200 vertical steel tubes to form a ‘freeze frame’ of a dramatic ‘splash’ of water.
“I chose water as the central theme given its enormous power and universality. It’s essential to everything,” said U.K.-based artist Gerry Judah.
“It further remains one of the most important elements of nature, and one that continues to hold its importance, both as a physical object and as a symbolic representation of various universal concepts.”
Judah’s design was chosen from a pool of 218 artists and artist groups from around the world.
A jury of public art experts pared the list to six and, eventually, the jury’s seven voting members selected Spirit of Water.
“Spirit of Water has historic and contemporary meaning that relates uniquely to the site, just as the architecture of the BMO Centre’s new pavilion and canopy does,” said Kate Thompson, president and CEO of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.
“We are thrilled to have an artist of Gerry’s calibre supporting the BMO Centre expansion project.”
Local firm Heavy Industries will work with the artist and BMO Centre project team to manage the installation of the 50,800-kilogram piece of public art in spring 2024.