A Mi'kmaq perspective coming to renovated Dartmouth Sportsplex
'The thing I like about it is that you're kind of going to be seeing the world through our artwork'
A renowned Mi'kmaq artist will help breathe new life into the Dartmouth Sportsplex, using different art styles to reflect the interconnectivity of sports, art and culture in the Halifax area.
Jordan Bennett, a member of Ktaqamkuk First Nation in Newfoundland, has been chosen to create two original pieces for the sports complex, which is undergoing extensive renovations.
He has showcased his work domestically and internationally, including a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
The primary piece consists of a signature, wall-mounted feature created using painting, sculpture and traditional Mi'kmaq porcupine quill designs.
Bennett described the piece as being about "growth, health and community," with a majority of his inspiration being derived from traditional Mi'kmaq craftsmanship.
"A lot of the designs that I'm using reflect Mi'kmaq porcupine quill designs and the history that Mi'kmaq have played within the territory, not only through our culture and our ways of being, but through our contribution through sport," he said.
The second part of the project is a design to fill 1,500 square feet of interior window space.
"It's going to be these designs and they're going to somewhat transparent," Bennett said when describing his vision.
"The thing I like about it is that you're kind of going to be seeing the world through our artwork, like literally."
A jury comprised of art sector professionals and other community members chose Bennett's bid, out of 33 submitted, for the $200,000 project.
Max Chauvin, Sportsplex's general manager, said the facility wanted something that would help bring the community together.
"I think we want to send a message that the Sportsplex is for the community, that the community is welcome in here," he said.
"We also want to reflect that we are not just about sport. We are about all aspects of recreation, and art is one of those important pieces."
The city said it was too soon to release any images of the proposed artwork.
Bennett's work is expected to be unveiled during a gala this December. The Sportsplex is scheduled to reopen in January, 2019.