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HRT Ranking – Art Outdoors

Art Outdoors

Submitted July 21 2020

Idea/Project Title:
Art Outdoors

Please provide a brief description of your idea/project. :
Gallery Stratford is the only professional public art gallery in our community and surrounding region. Over the past few years we have increasingly brought the gallery and our programs out into the community. Examples include our Stratford ArtCycles, the Steelbox Art Lab, SITE our Off-Site Art Space in the downtown core, ARTspace at the Mall and most recently our temporary pop-up space in Festival Square that was viewable 24 / 7 from the sidewalk and street.

Gallery Stratford sits between Upper Queens, Confederation and Millenium parks and is the site of a number of important outdoor sculptures. Our grounds are a popular destination for local residents and tourists alike. Art Outdoors aims to extend the gallery experience out onto our grounds and incorporates a number of projects that will both animate our space and enhance the visitor experience. Friday Art Nights will kick off on August 7th and will be regular weekly series featuring local musicians performing on our ‘front lawn’ and our gallery spaces open for evening viewing. ARTcircles is a partnership program between the Kiwanis Festival and Gallery Stratford. Every Thursday afternoon we will invite the community to the grounds in front of the gallery (socially distanced of course) to draw, paint and create while listening to music performed by Kiwanis Festival musicians. Sculpture in the Park will bring some of the outdoor sculpture that is currently hidden from view in our gallery storage and bring it out where it belongs to be viewed and enjoyed by the community. Gallery in Full View is the installation of four 4′ x 10′ colourful banners that will be hung on the exterior of our building to help animate our historic building bringing colour to our outdoor space and creating a sense of excitement and an invitation into our building and the artwork we have on view. Steelbox mural project, part of our Gallery in Full View will allow us to transform the shipping container in our parking lot into a colourful artwork. The trail along the old railway tracks behind the gallery is well-used by cyclists, walkers, runners from morning to night. The found object sculptures we placed along the trail last fall have been well-received and continue to delight everyone passing by. The Steelbox Mural will be a continuation and expansion of the visual arts experiences our community members and visitors can encounter as they move throughout Stratford.

What is the proposed timeline for your idea/project? :
This project will kick off with our first Art Circles event on Thursday, July 30th, and Friday ART Night event on August 7th. Each of these events will run weekly through the fall and COVID restrictions permitting will move indoors during the fall and winter months, with the hope that they will resume next spring. Preparation fro the sculpture installation can begin immediately once funding is in place. Our Gallery in Full View program (banners and mural project) is ready to go and just contingent on funding.

Which Provincial reopening phase will allow this idea/project to be launched? :
Art Gallery’s were allowed to re-open during Phase 2 and gathering limits for both indoor and outdoor programs were increased during Phase 3. The Sculpture in the Park and Gallery in Full View portions of this project will continue in the event that new restrictions are needed in the fall and will continue to animate our outdoor spaces year round regardless of the Phase.

Briefly describe the potential economic impact of this idea/project for our community. :
Gallery Stratford is a destination for our local community as well as year-round tourists to Stratford. Our exhibitions regularly attract visitors from the GTA and throughout SW Ontario who frequent our restaurants and shops after visiting the gallery. Enhancing the visitor experience will encourage more and longer visits and further develop our brand as an ARTS TOWN! In addition to the economic spin-off from gallery visitors spending money locally, as a professional art institution we pay local artists and musicians who work with us, providing them with income that they can spend locally. This is especially important at this time when so many of our local visual and performing artists do not have a source of income or opportunities to show, perform and promote their work.

Please provide any budgeting details you may have, including cost estimates required to implement this idea/project. :
The total cost of this project is $20,000. However, it does have scalability. Using student musicians rather than professional musicians would mean paying an honorarium rather than paying them at scale. The average cost of a mural is estimated at $10 to $25 per square foot. However, using student emerging artists and the possibility of getting some paint and materials donated could bring down the cost. The biggest unknown is the installation of the sculptures. We have budgeted $5000 for this, however, as with all outdoor installation projects there is always the possibility that we run into unforeseen issues and concerns with the site. The actual cost for initial installation of the banners is $2000, replacing the banners every 3 to 4 months would be $600 – $750.

Do you have a project lead or coordinator? If so , please provide contact info. :
Angela Brayham, Director / Curator – Gallery Stratford

Please advise if there are any other collaborators or organizations involved in this idea/project. Have they been contacted?:
Art Circles is a formal partnership with Kiwanis Music Festival. These projects are based on on-going collaborations with musicians and artists in our community.


Art Outdoors

  • Rank this idea for the following 5 metrics from 1-10 (Terrible-Excellent):
  • How affordable is this idea to implement?
  • How easy and fast will implementing this idea be?
  • How well does this idea align with Stratford as a unique cultural destination?
  • How well does this idea retain value over time?
  • Rank the Overall Economic Impact of the idea by tourism sector for the short-, mid- and long-term (2020, 2021, 2022+):

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