Samples of work by Urban Design Roster members Ay Lelum, Becky Thiessen, Brandon Stephenson, Curtis Van Charles Sorensen, Emily Thiessen (first row from left), Erin Gibbs, Frederick Anderson, Hugo Bedard, Humanity in Art, lessLIE (second row from left), Mauro Dalla Costa, Noel Brown, Patrick Belanger, Robert Plante, Ross Agro (third row from left), Roz MacLean, Sarita Mielke, Amy Pye, Sebastian Abboud and Webb Creative (fourth row from left). (Photos courtesy the artists)

Samples of work by Urban Design Roster members Ay Lelum, Becky Thiessen, Brandon Stephenson, Curtis Van Charles Sorensen, Emily Thiessen (first row from left), Erin Gibbs, Frederick Anderson, Hugo Bedard, Humanity in Art, lessLIE (second row from left), Mauro Dalla Costa, Noel Brown, Patrick Belanger, Robert Plante, Ross Agro (third row from left), Roz MacLean, Sarita Mielke, Amy Pye, Sebastian Abboud and Webb Creative (fourth row from left). (Photos courtesy the artists)

City of Nanaimo announces list of artists to assist in beautification projects

20 artists and groups have been selected to city’s new Urban Design Roster

There’s a new list of people to call the next time a municipal department wants to beautify a piece of civic infrastructure.

This week the City of Nanaimo announced in its culture and events newsletter the 20 individual artists and groups that have been selected to join its urban design roster program for the next two years.

The roster’s members include Sebastian Abboud, Ross Agro, Frederick Anderson, Ay Lelum, Hugo Bedard, Patrick Belanger, Noel Brown, Mauro Dalla Costa, Erin Gibbs, Roz MacLean, Sarita Mielke, Robert Plante, Amy Pye, lessLIE, Humanity in Art, Brandon Stephenson, Emily Thiessen, Becky Thiessen, Curtis Van Charles Sorensen and Webb Creative.

The city received 41 submissions when it put out its call to artists. City of Nanaimo culture and events coordinator Allison Collins said she was happy with the response.

“We were not sure what to expect,” she said. “We hoped that it would be popular because we see it as a program that’s available to a wide variety of artists. And so we were pretty pleasantly surprised because we got people from such a range of different kinds of skills and talents, which is exactly what we had hoped for.”

Collins said it was tough having to whittle the 41 applicants down to the final 20. She said a number of criteria helped guide those decisions.

“We basically looked at their impact and the creativity of their past work,” she said. “We looked at their demonstrated ability to produce and present work. We looked at the connection and relevance that they had to Nanaimo … and their compatibility to the program, so do the skills that they have fit the kinds of projects that might be coming along in this program?”

Three projects coming next year that urban design roster artists will be working on include a new mural on the outer wall of the Maffeo Sutton Park bathrooms, a set of poems on active transportation pathways that are only visible when it rains and three new manhole covers.

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