Airdronian votes will decide utility box artwork throughout the city
About 70 artists lifted their pencils and paintbrushes in the fight to prevent vandalism and promote local artwork in Airdrie. Now it’s up to Airdronians to select the best five pieces to be displayed in shrink-wrap on five FortisAlberta utility boxes.
“It’s their streets, they should definitely put their voice in,” said Sherry Shaw-Froggatt, vice chair for Creative Airdrie.
FortisAlberta teamed up with Creative Airdrie in the FortisAlberta Art Wrap Program to prevent vandalism and provide artists the opportunity to showcase their work in a non-traditional space.
Shaw-Froggatt said she was pleased with the amount of artists that put their work forward.
“It was more than I was expecting. I was thinking maybe we would get half that,” she said.
The applicants have been narrowed down to 12 artists. Airdronians must now cast their votes by visiting the FortisAlberta or going online to the Creative Airdrie website.
Airdronians will vote on the 12 art pieces and choose the five that will be presented around the city.
“People can come into our office and vote,” said Mona Bartsoff, corporate communications advisor for FortisAlberta.
The program began last year when RCMP approached FortisAlberta with a graffiti problem in various communities throughout their jurisdiction.
RCMP asked if there were ways for the company to cover their utility boxes in an attempt to defer the vandalism.
FortisAlberta wrapped company-owned utility boxes in Strathcona County with generic artwork as part of a pilot project.
The project was successful, leading to the expansion of the concept into 14 other communities across its service territory, including Airdrie.
Creative Airdrie teamed up with Fortis in order to present local artwork, rather than generic images.
“We have a special relationship in Airdrie because of our presence,” Bartsoff said.
“We are part of the fabric of Airdrie.”
The artwork includes a variety of mediums from charcoal drawings to oil paintings to photography, all of which can be seen online or at FortisAlberta.
“It shows you that there’s a lot of talent in this town,” Shaw-Froggatt said.
Voting began Sept. 14, and Shaw-Froggatt said more than 300 people have voted.
“That’s just from posting it on Facebook,” she said. “It means it's gone viral.”
Artists include Tami Hort, Char Vanderhorst, Cheryl Todd Shergold, Kathrym Zondag, Lori Presiloski, Olivia McMurrary, Erika Andriashek, Maureen Demanuele and Robyn Cooper.
To vote, visit Airdrie’s FortisAlberta building, located at 15 Kingsview Road or go online to www.creativeairdrie.ca. Voting ends Sept. 30 and the winners will be announced in conjunction with ARTember.
“I hope this is a success and that Fortis wants to do it again,” Shaw-Froggatt said.