Now, a brief but exhaustively researched timeline of successful public art projects in Halifax, including all notable projects of the past quarter-century: The Wave is unveiled on the Halifax Waterfront: 1988. There is much grafitti tagging and climbing. Many children summit The Wave. Some children fall and hurt themselves. The more intelligent, coordinated children do not.
Then, for a long time...a lull.
Finally, June 2007. The North End Library gets an inspiring 20-foot structure entitled "North is Freedom." (It also features climbing children, but this time, cast in steel. There are fewer injuries.)
Upon unveiling North is Freedom, the city is confounded by an almost universal reaction from artists, community and media—the most unexpected and rare of Halifax reactions: Everyone liked it.
It couldn't have hurt in the formation of the city's first ever Public Art Forum, which held its first public meeting last week. The forum features the revolutionary idea of engaging the public on the matter of public art. Clearly, the city has gone crazy. Check halifax.ca/publicart to participate in the dialogue.
And, to prove that it isn't all talk and no action, last week's public meeting was coupled with progress on a new public art proposal for the Grand Parade: a memorial piece dedicated to fallen Nova Scotia peace officers who have served and died in Nova Scotia. The deadline for proposals was November 2, and the city is now in the process of choosing the winning design. You go, art.