Monday, January 28, 2013


I am not artistic.

I don't do any art.

I am not a huge fan of art galleries although as the years advance I find myself more tolerant of them, especially special exhibitions.

In fact one of the highlights of my trip to Dallas a couple years ago was the afternoon I spent at the Dallas Art Gallery.

I think a lot about art as it relates to the opportunities we give the children in our centres to express themselves in many different art forms.

At work we do an annual Art Auction of childrens and professional art.

One of the things that makes me feel very "grown up" is owning some original art pieces.

I like what I like but I am a hacker.....I could maybe pick out a Group of Seven piece, or a Monet, Degas etc but my art knowledge is superficial.

SO when, last Fall,  I was asked to sit on a Public Art Selection Panel I was mildly panicked.

I knew I was there because one of our centres is smack in the middle of the development in which the art will be situated and our fence etc could be part of the installation.

The other people were not hackers.  They knew their art and their public art and local and international artists.

Our first job was to come up with a list of artists for consideration - we were tasked with bringing 3.  I did a lot of googling and looking and researching and found one guy I thought was fantastic.

Turns our he was also recently deceased.

Which of course everyone else knew.

In my defence to this day his website has no mention of his demise - I guess he died with his password?

Not a good start.

I began deferring to the others with slow nodding of my head hoping to denote my sagely thinking. I tried to squint at what others had written down.  I used my iPhone to hurriedly look for images.

We  They ended up with a  short list of 4 artists.

On Friday they each presented their vision/concept for the Public Art.

All but one did a truly remarkable and inspirational job.

Their ideas were incredible and all so different from one another.  So fascinating to see how they approached the project and where that took them.  I was touched with how they all considered the children in their designs.

It took all day and I got to know my fellow panelists a bit better.

I learned so much.  Was so humbled by the talent and creativity.

It was a tough decision but I voted with my head and my heart - not leaning on the others for direction.....and I am excited to see the completion of the project later this year.

I wish I could tell you more specifics but I signed a non-disclosure and  contracts have yet to be signed but I promise when it's all up I will take you on either a real or virtual tour.

Nicky Byres - Public Art Tour Guide....... who would have thought!

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