Top 10 Public Art Installations in Mississauga

When people think of art, they might think of internationally renowned pieces stored in famous and prestigious galleries. Although it's true that some groundbreaking pieces tend to be located a little ways from home, it's important to remember that funny, evocative, playful and moving art is just steps from your door.

Mississauga is home to several creative permanent works and has also housed a plethora of thoughtful temporary installations.

Here is a top 10 list of the city's best and most memorable permanent and temporary art pieces.

Permanent Pieces

5) Great Bear and the Seven Hunters

Created by Sharon McCann in 1986, this gorgeous gold and blue mural of an Ojibwa legend is 30 metres in diameter and located on the domed ceiling of council chamber. It's made of cast aluminum and concrete and it's a great homage to the country's native heritage.

4) Possibilities

This fun and colourful piece, created by Michel de Broin, is located at the roundabout at Duke of York and Square One Drive. It was created and acquired by the city in 2012 and is made of aluminum and epoxy paint. As you can see, the sculpture features eight interlocking arrows that seem to suggest you truly can go anywhere you want. It's a nice, modern touch in a quickly urbanizing space.

3) Pool of Knowledge

Designed by Stacey Spiegel, this piece covers a section of the floor of the Living Arts Centre grounds. It was created and acquired by the city in 1997 and is a fountain feature with letters made out of cast aluminum and concrete. It's both whimsical and intellectual at once, and its unique placement makes it a fixture that's constant yet subtle.

2) The Bearded Ones

This Tom Benner piece sits on the southwest side of the Living Arts Centre and is made of cedar wood and steel. The sculpture is made up of six wooden figures and represents ancestral musk oxen. It's a fun feature for sure, and one that looks both modern and historical, having fused traditional old-country imagery with contemporary materials. It was created in 1987, acquired in 1996 and fully restored in 2014.

1) Contemplating Child

Ferruccio Sardella created this playful --and enormous -- piece in 2014, making it one of the most modern sculptures on the list. Located in the Community Common Park off of Living Arts Drive, this work, both solemn and cute, is a perfect fixture in a community that attracts more and more families every year despite increasing urbanization (who said cities aren't for families?). The piece is made of Cor-Ten steel and the city acquired it the same year it was produced.

Temporary Pieces

5) Park(ing) Day

This piece, a creative merging of urban fixtures and nature, took up four parking spaces on Lakeshore Road in Port Credit from September 19 - 30, 2012. The piece was used to draw attention to the need for improved vibrancy on city streets. The city and the Port Credit BIA launched the temporary initiative with a group of artists to transform street-side parking spaces into public spaces for 10 days.

4) The Gaze

Once upon a time back in 2012 (2012 was a good year for art in the city), Mississauga screened a series of experimental short films on the Celebration Square screens. The films were all silent, narrative-based and interactive. Eight films were shown that "helped define, broaden and contribute to the philosopher Jacques Lacan's concept of distinguishing between the eye's look and THE GAZE." The project -- a little more experimental and highbrow than one might expect in a venue like Celebration Square -- was launched in partnership with the Art Gallery of Mississauga.

3) Backside Flip

This was a cute one that suited its surroundings. Backside Flip, designed by Dan Bergeron, sat in Sculpture Court on the north wall back in 2013. Made with acrylic latex masonry paint and premium spray paint, the mural showed a skateboarder performing a backside flip. The mural reminded people that skateboarding is challenging and demands technique, something the average skate enthusiast surely wanted people -- especially those who decry the sport as juvenile -- to remember.

2) Dance Freely

Designed by TIMEANDDESIRE (Denise St. Marie and Timothy Walker), this little installation speaks for itself and invites you to dance. Made of road sign blanks and vinyl, the piece was located in Celebration Square for two weeks in August 2014 and coincided with the Square's SoundBites event.

1) Bradley House Melodrama

Also designed by Dan Bergeron, this stunning exhibit graced the city with its exquisite old-timey charm From June 1-7, 2015. The facade of the Bradley Historic House was covered in coloured vinyl designed by the artist, giving it some truly striking (and fun) old world charm. The piece was done in collaboration with Museums of Mississauga.

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