Peterborough’s newest piece of public art sparkles on Jackson Park Pond

A new piece of public art for the city, titled Handwritten Moon, has been installed on the pond near the Pagoda Bridge in Jackson Park.

“Public art is part of our quality of life in the City of Peterborough,” said the Otonabee Ward Coun. Lesley Parnell, City Council Arenas, Parks and Recreation Chair. “Arts, culture and heritage are very important to this community. Public art in our beautiful Jackson Park means everything.

The ironwork, which was installed on Monday, was created by sculptor Garrett “Owen” Gilbart, while Justin Million penned the text, which reads: “Handwritten moon. Millions of years. Everything corrugated.

They were commissioned for the project after their proposal was selected by the city’s Artist-Initiated Projects Selection Committee, which invited emerging artists to submit their ideas this spring. Artists could submit artwork at any scale, scope, and medium for any part of the city.

The competition received 11 submissions.

“After talking with Garrett about possible themes and inspirations for this project, I began to ask myself a few questions: What kind of sentence would be aesthetically striking to read as if laid on a landscape? What kind of sentence can both be evocative and provocative, yet respectful to every conceivable viewer?” Million listed in project proposal.

This was met with positive feedback from the selection committee.

“This public art commission responds creatively and ingeniously to the site selected by the artists – rooted in the earth and changing our perception of place in a way that transforms public spaces to give new meaning to the built and natural heritage of Peterborough.” said Su Ditta of the city’s arts, culture and heritage advisory committee, in a press release.

The Script Moon is submerged just below the water in the City Park Pond at the west end of Parkhill Road West and can be viewed from the shore of the pond by park visitors.

Com. Keith Riel, who is the city council’s housing co-chair and chair of arts, culture and heritage, believes the piece will be well received by residents of Peterborough.

“I think there will be positive feedback, and that was something we wanted to do,” Riel said. “The renders I saw when we first ordered it looked really unique, and it’s definitely going to cause a stir.”

He went on to explain that the piece will be taken down before winter, before being brought back in May, so that people can see and enjoy it during the summer season.

Both Parnell and Riel view the piece as subjective, with many possible interpretations.

“This (art) could be very empowering for people. And I hope they will come and enjoy our park and reflect on their interpretation of this artwork,” Parnell said.

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