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The Main Street Public Art, created by Stuart Kinmond

The Main Street Public Art, created by Stuart Kinmond and titled Main2 (Main Square) is now complete and standing proudly in front of Saint Paul University. It looks amazing and impressive!

Rendering
Rendering

Completed art piece
Completed art piece

Stuart Kinmond’s Main2 is a public gathering space featuring geometric-shaped benches shaded by tall towers, each framing colourful multi-layered glass images of the surrounding landscape of Old Ottawa East: the Rideau Canal, the Rideau River and the land between.

Here’s a description of the art piece:

The coloured glass panels/stained glass reflects the neighbourhood’s ecclesiastical heritage, including Saint Paul University, Deschatelets Seminary and other spiritual institutions.

The theme of the glass designs is inspired by the physical geography of Old Ottawa East—the Rideau River along one side and the Rideau Canal along the other side are represented by the outer 2 towers. The community, bounded by these 2 waterways, is expressed by the green colours of the central tower.

Colouring of glass panels
Colouring of glass panels

The coloured designs on the glass panels are made of a ceramic-based ink that is digitally applied by a very large printer. Once applied, the inks are dried, then the panels are fired in an oven, making the colours lightfast and waterproof.

Each tower has 3 glass panels with a different but related design on each. By being spaced apart, the designs set up a parallax effect as the viewer passes by.

This parallax is most apparent in the River panels (the north tower), where the 3 layers of waves flow past each other. Feeding near the top of the middle panel is a sunfish, the most prevalent fish in the Rideau River.

River Panels
River Panels

At the opposite end, the Canal panels feature the underside of the Pretoria Bridge, and below it, the omnipresent concrete posts and steel rails that run the length of Canal through the city. Through this window, one can see the white tour boat and a couple of canoes. On the east side is a stylized map of the Canal, including Dow’s Lake.

Canal Panels
Canal Panels

On the central tower, the Land panels set a tree-lined pathway on the outer panel against a patchwork of green fields in the middle panel, a nod to agricultural heritage. The east panel portrays an aerial view of tree-lined residential streets typical of the Old Ottawa East neighbourhood. The glass panels will be illuminated at night with LED edge lighting.

Land Panels
Land Panels

The canopies suspended from each tower represent the built environment of the community. They provide shade to the geometric benches beneath. The green bench represents Land, complete with a north arrow, while the two blue ones stand for the bounding waterways.



Stuart Kinmond trained as an architect in Montréal. In 2013 he won his first public art competition – a City of Ottawa commission for the O-Train expansion. That artwork, entitled locomOtion, is installed at the Carleton O-Train station.

The Public Art Program initiated a competition for a new work of art for Main Street in 2014. Forty-four proposals were received and reviewed by a Peer Assessment Committee. The committee chose Main2 based on evaluation criteria that included artistic excellence, the experience of the artist, how well the artwork would integrate into the street design, and comments received during an extensive public consultation process.

*Text provided by the City of Ottawa*



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