Saturday, October 16, 2010

My First International Installation: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Alright, after a few weeks from arriving home from Calgary, I hit the ground running back here in the States and now have carved some time to write about my first international mural installation. I was in Calgary at the amazing Westside Recreation Centre located at 2000 69 St SW, Calgary, AB T3H 4V7, Canada for 22 days. They say Calgary is Denver's sister city. I have never been to Denver, yet. But I soon find out just how much of a Central Coast Gal I have become.

The mural is in the studio and ready for us to roll up, put into a tube and take it on our flights to Calgary. First thing is to pack up supplies, label everything and follow that exciting list! I was excited about packing for my first international mural. Below is a photograph of the taped up paints for touch up.  I prepped, packed, and shipped. From Reno to Seattle to Calgary every step of the way we had obstacles big and small to overcome, as a team learning every step of the way. We finally arrive to Canada around midnight.

Above is an image of the mural in studio. Below is an image of the mural just getting off the magical plane ride!

Here is the site! My first time visiting.

Here is Signal Hill in Calgary, which has quite the history. Prior to this Calgary trip I had ventured to Montreal about 5 years ago so it was exciting to get a different perspective and vibe of the Canadian culture. So below are progress shots of the installation. We installed two murals during our 22 days in Calgary. One exterior about 50ft x 32ft titled "Swimming in the Zone" and one interior about 20ft x 9ft titled "The Northern Lights Room".

I was almost over my cold while I  traveled to Canada, that I acquire after the Skyline installation. Working in the snappy cold Canadian air was not the most exciting or enticing activity on my mind. So when we were directed to Thai Thai, I was one happy little painter!

O, sweet fortune cookie! Back to the work, here are the swimmers that are ready for some glazes and then we will place them and then paste them.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Snow and I have not spent much time together. This was the first time I saw snow on scaffolding. I cringed as I wear multiple layers and learned about this thing called GORE-TEX. I kept thinking to myself, this is September...September, but the Calgarians told me sometimes it snows every month, I will say that many, if not all the Calgarians apologized for the weather, saying that is the summer that never was.  I had to learn to suck it up and weather the Chinook! As I learn more about the area and met many of the people who come to the Westside Recreation Centre to work out, meet friends, play hockey, go swimming, take yoga, climb a wall I see such a sense of community and see just how important the Westside is to many community members in Calgary. I really did enjoy the people in Calgary and it was very awesome to watch the season change.

The scaffolding must come down! The big 10 year anniversary party was the next day. We still had some work to go, so we got a boom lift to finish the project. I prefer scaffolding over anything, but the work must be done. If working with your artist friend all day and living in a condo together isn't enough time together, don't worry, the boom lift  provides that extra time together to cultivate new noises, jokes, and annoying habits as we paint elbow to elbow, all day. 

Let's Party!

Who knew! I ran into a sweet pal I worked with fours years ago all the way in New Hampshire, the world is small!

 I was able to go to Banff National Park and see the extraordinary landscape.

Castle Mountain

Lake Louise

Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks.

The completed interior mural.

The installation continues outside and there was to be Sun for the rest of the week.

Here is an image of the Sun rising, I was so excited to see the colorful show every morning, what a treat! Below is a lesson in expansion joints. Calgary has such extreme temperature differences. A large majority of time was spend on problem solving for the exterior mural. Here are shots of the expansion joints doing what they do best! All I can say is, nature rules, always.

Above: Taping of Laurel the swimmer in preparation to deepen the glass tube with shadows. Below: A before and after where the seams meet and the integration on site.

Above: John racing against the Sun to finish the blends. Below: Images from a day trip to Grassi Lakes

Here is the completed exterior mural. If you are ever in Calgary, check it out at 2000 69 St SW, Calgary, AB T3H 4V7, Canada. So now I have my first international mural installation under my belt right before my 27th birthday! I am excited for the next international mural installation, which will be about 10 months down the line in Barbados. I learned so much in Calgary and was excited about the diversity of the city however I must say, I am very happy to be back on the Central Coast of California.

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