Public Art Work


Our Practice

We started Voyager Art & Tile in 1999 and have been working together ever since! We built a large multi-purpose studio which is located on an acreage surrounded by trees and a beautiful creek.
Our approach to making public art is set out in 3 major considerations: site specific, public accessibility and our own artistic vision and beauty. Our work is responsive, combining interests of flora, fauna, history and our urban and rural environments. The work is often whimsical, playful, and full of colour.

We meld these various concerns with the requirements to come up with dynamic solutions for each project. Our diverse expertise in both 2d and 3d forms allows us a broader range of solutions. We have extensive experiences in brick sculpture, glass mosaics, tile making, construction, welding, and have formed great relationships with engineers and logistical supports. We pride ourselves with our ability to communicate effectively with all stakeholders of any project large or small.

Our concentration in public art stems from an inherent interest to inspire and make the lives of those who encounter it more meaningful. To motivate but also allow for visual respite to individuals, giving one a sense of wonder and enlightenment in the imagery, encouraging laughter or a seriousness through these experiences. The opportunities we have had thus far embody these objectives.

Public Art Commissions



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These projects are mostly memorial projects or commemorations of specific family members or historic individuals. We take great pride in researching our subjects to get accurate resemblances with fine details right down to the individuals’ hair. We sculpt the artwork in plasteline and have a local foundry cast it.


Waiting for Gordon 2012

Part of the Ghost Series in Red Deer, this piece has 6 parts which includes a life-size sculpture of Julietta Sorenson waiting on the sidewalk for Gorden, 2 roundels, and 3 suitcases. It depicts both Gordon Sorenson who ran the first bus line in Red Deer and his wife Julietta who ran the Blue Derby coffee shop and ticket sales for the busses. Red Deer, AB

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Pioneer Family 2010

This sculpture was commissioned by a gentleman whose family broke ground in the Penhold area outside Red Deer. The piece resides in the Penhold Multiplex, a facility that houses a hockey arena, public library, lounge, dance studio, fitness centre and town offices. Penhold, AB

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Doris Forbes and Mickey the Beaver 2004

This bronze is part of the Ghost Series in Red Deer, AB and is located in Coronation Park commemorating a famous beaver named Mickey. The Forbes family had taken the young battered beaver and nursed it to health and it lived its whole life with them in a beaver lodge attached to the house. It became part of the family and traveled around on photo opportunities in the 50’s. The piece was commissioned by the Central Alberta Pioneers and Old Timers Association.

 


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One way that we’ve learned to create large clay surfaces is by cutting our modeled design into many pieces that can be fired, glazed and then fit back together. Another great aspect of using clay in this manner is its versatility and ability to be manipulated into many forms and then be texturized with ease.


Games in Landscape 2007

This piece commemorates the youth Alberta Summer Games and depicts all the sports played that summer. It stands on the grounds of the Sherwood Park Sports Arena, Sherwood Park, AB

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We are inspired by historical glass mosaics and love the vibrant color and ability to convey imagery with this medium. We create our designs with hand nipped glass to emphasize the imagery in color and texture. They are constructed in our studio and secured to a sticky paper that is easily transported. Some of the glass is solid in color while others are iridescence. Glass has an amazing visual quality and particularly brilliant in direct sunlight! It’s resilient, unfading and often used in outdoor pools and indoor showers for these qualities.


Kaleidoscope Menagerie – 2011
The work centers on the dualities that exist in a growing city, accentuating the dynamics of cohabitation with the flora and fauna. We tried to give this piece a sense of stained glass incorporating the cities historical, current and future aspects. This 50 foot long piece welcomes you to the Dawe Centre which houses an ice arena, public library, gym, pool and elementary school. Red Deer, AB

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Lady Bug Memorial – 2011
This piece consists of 42 lady bugs that represent each year of Dawnine Jackson’s life. She was instrumental in the development of the Aquatics area and for her positive outgoing inspiration, leadership, and fostering health and happiness at the Collicutt Sports Centre in Red Deer. These ladybugs, small and large are places in open and hidden locations all over the building to make a great game of find and seek. Lady bugs were one of DJs favorites.

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The Rec Centre Fish – 2007
This was commissioned by the City of Red Deer to replace the old fish mosaics that could not be saved in the new construction of the building. We chose the most local fish in Alberta including the salmon that actually spawn on the border with BC. Each has a clay roundel border that looks like metal casings with bolts to imitate a fish tank wall.

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The Killarney Pool – 2003
The idea behind this piece was to illustrate what was happening on the inside of this building. We used commercial porcelain tile around the borders to frame the individual mosaics. Calgary, AB

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Restoration, Jesus Mosaic – 2001
This was our first commission using glass mosaic. The original mosaic was backwards with Jesus’s left hand blessing a boy. We chiseled off the offending hand and the boy and replaced it with the proper arranged hand and bible using all the old glass.

 


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We have had a few opportunities to work with school systems to produce murals significant to the school itself or as a community building project. In a time when schools are having their funding cut for the arts, it was eye opening to see the benefits students had in the creative process. There were moments of concentration, exhilaration and bewilderment of some learning for the first time how to hold a paint brush and later pride in knowing they produced something so important that it went right on a building that would be there forever in their mind.


In Through the Outdoors – 2012
These two doorways symbolize the natural beauty and habitat for the flora and fauna that St. Francis was so well known for. We worked with most of the students at St. Francis Of Assisi school and installed these in their small chapel.

 

Food & Soul – 2007
This project came up when the Collicutt Centre and the 2 schools that flank the sports centre wanted to provide something artistic in the main foyer for the students to have visual ownership and appreciation for the building they used daily. We worked with the 2 high schools and one made tiles for “Fuel” or food based works while the other make ‘soul” or shoe based works. Red Deer, AB

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St. Elizabeth Seton – 2002
We worked with the students of that school to make tiles that reflected their idea of love, hope and their connection to the school itself. The image is a variation of the school logo. It is located in the main foyer. Red Deer, AB

 

Meandering River – 2001
This project was our first public art project and involved 6500 school children from across Red Deer, AB. Each student carved their version of “leisure’ into clay tiles which were glazed, fired and placed on the wall of the Collicutt Centre in a river pattern which is displayed in 5 major wall areas measuring over 200 feet long.

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Our other sculptural pieces are mostly brick and clay. Influenced by the great Alberta mural maker Jim Marshal, we set out to build large 3d sculptures that could be carved in our studio and fired in our kilns. We built each sculpture using hundreds to thousands of bricks, carving it to completion. Each piece is labeled, numbered, fired then cemented together to complete the form. In most instances we added insets of glass mosaic which give a particular vibrancy and shine to the work.


Immense Mode – 2009
These 20 foot tall legs greet commuters and visitors by bus, train and car. They pay homage to the commuter and shoppers to Southgate Mall. The legs allow for a bit of imagination of a giant standing on the platform while also leading those in for a more intimate and tactile experience through the inlaid glass. Edmonton, AB

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Train Bench – 2012
This brick bench that depicts 3 logs with glass mosaic was commissioned by the Riverside Meadows Historical Association to commemorate the old saw mill and train that used to run in downtown Red Deer. It is located at the end of the pedestrian bridge in Riverside Meadows.

 

APEGA Bench – 2004
This bench was commissioned by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta as a gift to the City of Red Deer for Alexander Way. It depicts the strata carved in the base of the bench with a topographical map of the Red Deer region and specific provincial infrastructures that the organization deals with.

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Rabbit – 2005
This Brick rabbit sits on the sidewalk of Alexander Way in Red Deer and reflects our melding urban and rural environments. Red Deer, AB

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Salmon – 2007
This brick salmon was made for the water spray park at Centennial Park in Abbotsford, BC

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Letting the Birdies Fly -2005
We were asked to produce a work of art for the entrance to the Riverbend Golf and Country Clubhouse. The piece is a metaphor for golf as the golf clubs become bird that fly. The golf bag, clubs and birds are sculpted from a sculpture clay and coated with a terra sigillata, glaze and finally silver lustre. Red Deer, AB

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Trophy of Health – 2006
This sculpture features a collection of carved and modeled clay sports and is capped with a baseball helmet. The gold like sporting artifacts are assembled together in a classical bust-like form and placed upon a bed of grass followed by inspiration words as a base. Commemorative of the 2006 Alberta Summer Games and now resides in the Red Deer Public Library.

 


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