Valley Line Southeast LRT artworks on track to wow commuters

When the Valley Line Southeast LRT starts rolling next year, public art will be a part of the daily commute for thousands of Edmontonians. Here a look at some of the sculptures, paintings and glasswork.

‘I really love being able to deliver something that people can see everyday’

Local artist Stephanie Jonsson admires her art up now at the Muttart stop along Edmonton's Valley Line Southeast LRT. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

"It's priceless."

Edmonton artist Stephanie Jonsson beams as she looks up at the Muttart stop of the Valley Line Southeast LRT. 

"This is my first public art project," Jonsson says. "I really love being able to deliver something that people can see everyday."

Jonsson created two brightly coloured aluminum sculptures mounted on the canopy on either side of the platform. She drew inspiration from the flora next door at the Muttart Conservatory at 9626 96A St. 

"It's almost got a little bit of an under-the-sea theme to it when you first look at it, a little bit like seaweed," says David Turnbull, director of public art and conservation with the Edmonton Arts Council.

'It's really great to see them up'

10 months ago
Duration 2:00
Learn more about the public art that's part of the Southeast Valley Line LRT in Edmonton, Alta.

You can see more of the artwork at Davies Station and three stops along the Valley Line Southeast LRT on this week's Our Edmonton on Saturday at 10 a.m., Sunday at noon and 11 a.m. Monday on CBC TV and CBC Gem. 

It's an example of artists getting in early at the beginning of the design and construction process — in this case six years ago — and really considering the space and relationship to the art, Turnbull says.

Art is already in place or planned for the 11 stops and one station along the $2-billion Valley Line Southeast LRT, scheduled to be up and running in the first quarter of 2022. 

Above is one of two mosaic works on either side of the Davies Ramp at 8110 Argyll Rd., together called Confluence, by Edmonton artist Erin Pankratz. (Submitted by Edmonton Arts Council)

The budget for art on the entire Valley Line LRT project is $2.6 million, Turnbull says.

Work by local, regional and Canadian artists are now on everything from bridges to ramps and stops along the 13-kilometre line between Mill Woods and downtown Edmonton.

Turnbull says the only commission that went to an international artist was Shan Shan Sheng for the massive ceramic coloured glass Fluid Landscape at the Davies LRT Station southwest of the intersection of 75th Street and Wagner Road. 

Construction continues on the Davies LRT Station which will feature the glass art work Fluid Landscape by Shan Shan Sheng. (Adrienne Lamb/CBC)

Sheng travelled from San Francisco and toured the capital region "and really got a sense of what it was like to be here on the prairies so this is her vision of when she came to Edmonton," Turnbull says.

Other major projects include more than 400 paintings on the ceiling of the Tawatinâ pedestrian bridge over the North Saskatchewan River by Métis artist David Garneau, who is originally from Edmonton but now lives in Regina.

"When you cross that bridge you're actually going to learn some of the stories of the history of the place and what is important to the Indigenous peoples," Turnbull says.

The trail systems at either end of the pedestrian bridge  through Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Parks are set to be finished by the end of November with the bridge opening to the public in the next few weeks, according to TransEd, the construction company in charge of the LRT project.

The Tawatinâ pedestrian bridge below the Valley Line Southeast LRT crosses the North Saskatchewan River. (David Bajer/CBC)


Adrienne Lamb


Adrienne Lamb is the host and producer of Our Edmonton featured weekly on CBC TV. She served for several years as CBC Radio's national arts reporter in Edmonton. Prior to moving to Alberta in 2001, Adrienne worked at CBC in Ontario and New Brunswick. Adrienne is a graduate of Western University with a degree in English and Anthropology and a Masters in Journalism.


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