Clarington chips in $20,000 to finish public art display in downtown Orono

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Published October 1, 2021 at 2:09 pm

Clarington Council is chipping in an extra $20,000 to finish the last of the municipality’s four downtown public art displays, a project that got its start three years ago.

The public art projects in Bowmanville, Courtice and Newcastle are largely complete but completing the custom artistic bike racks in Orono’s downtown has proven to be “challenging,” requiring the extra funding to finish the installations.

Project timelines have also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Clarington received $110,000 from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as part of the ‘Main Street Revitalization Initiative’ for use in Clarington’s four downtown areas. Council directed the funding be used for public art and the next year projects and artists were selected for each of the four.

The artists worked on the projects throughout 2020 and into 2021.

In Bowmanville, a ‘Women of Distinction’ mural was created by Allan Bender of Blinc Studios, depicting women who have been influential in the town throughout its history

Courtice artist Darlene Bolahood created a series of silhouettes depicting local youth and members of the Courtice community. The pieces are displayed at the Courtice Complex, Tooley’s Mill Park, Trulls parkette, and on light poles along Highway 2 and the within the parks and trails system.

In Newcastle, James C. Smith’s series of sculptures are on display in front gardens at Newcastle Community Hall, Clarington Public Library Branch, the Massey Building/Foodland, and A Gift of Art. Each piece incorporates a unique treasure hunt element to be discovered.

Orono’s custom artistic bike racks, depicting the Orono Town Hall clock tower and iconic water tower, were created to be installed throughout the downtown and Orono Park in support of Orono’s popularity as a cycling destination. But site selection and installation has been “challenging” for staff due to “challenging interests” for sidewalk space and the fact that several of the sites selected required concrete foundations for proper installation.

The $20,000 required to complete the job will come from Clarington’s Community Improvement Plan Reserve Fund

Staff has also been working with the Orono BIA on its initiative to provide new and replacement benches along the east and west sides of Main Street to coordinate the locations of the streetscape infrastructure.

In addition to the artistic bike racks and benches, park amenity icons were added to the Buttercup Hollow sign, and funding was contributed to the new ‘Welcome to Orono’ mural (painted by The Paint Factory) at the north end of Main Street.

The remaining provincial funds will be used for information plaques and walking tour materials.

Photo by I’ve Been Bit travel blog

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