'Luminous' new art project times light show with C-Trains

A new public art project is hitting the streets — or tracks — in downtown Calgary, with LED-displays timed to the arrival and departure of trains.

Project decorates 7th Avenue and marks free fare zone in downtown Calgary

A concept rendering shows two of the standing sculptures to be completed as part of the new Luminous Crossings public art project in downtown Calgary. (City of Calgary)

Calgarians using the city's light rail transit system may find themselves being a bit more enlightened than usual in the coming weeks.

A new public art project is hitting the streets — or tracks — in downtown Calgary, with LED-light displays timed to the arrival and departure of trains. The display, called Luminous Crossings, is meant to act as an anchor of interest for those entering and leaving the downtown core and includes 20 discrete sculptures along the C-Train tracks. 

The project is meant to convey the concept of connections through rail travel.

It is also meant to address the scale of street life by acting as an intermediate height between tall buildings and the pedestrian level.

The City of Calgary commissioned the piece through an international open call to artists.

A jury of three, made up of art and design professionals, a community representative and one City representative, selected Cliff Garten as the winning artist.

Garten has completed more than 50 sculptures throughout the U.S. and Canada in collaboration with significant architecture, landscape architecture and engineering projects.

The project cost is estimated to be roughly $1.8 million.


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