Lego blocks, neon balloons, living plants and brightly-coloured zig-zags adorn the walls of Southcentre Mall as their colourful new public art installation, CHROMA, is now in full swing. This immersive art collective, curated by PARK, is displaying twelve different installations imagined by eight local creators to encourage Calgarians to engage with one another, connect with the city’s growing art scene and socialize in a beautiful and energetic setting. Get ready for six weeks of chic Instagram pictures coming your way, Calgary!
Featuring a variety of original concepts from local Calgary artists, the displays you will see at CHROMA will include anything and everything from multidimensional and interactive mediums to thought-provoking creations. From May 3 until June 16, grab your friends and head down to Southcentre Mall so that you too can express your opinion about what the pink balloon wall really means. This photo-friendly display will not only get you out of the house, but will also help you become acquainted with some of the city’s most talented artists. CHROMA is free to attend and all ages are welcome to visit and interact with the installation, however children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
A number of other special events, workshops from local artisans and pop up markets will be featured alongside the installation during the six weeks to encourage shoppers and art lovers alike to enjoy and engage in this visually inspiring experience. Psstt…. Sugar Cube and Crave Cupcakes maaaay just be making an appearance too. Details about these fun events will be posted to southcentre.com as they become available, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears to the ground, Calgary!
Here’s a bit more about one of the exciting events coming up in June:
- Experience CHROMA in a whole new way on June 2 with the highly-anticipated Tea Party at CHROMA. This family-friendly event will be serving refreshing sips from DavidsTea with artwork from the talented local artist Rachael Meckling and insights from Arminé Tatosian, a modern-day etiquette expert. With only three seating times available, we suspect tickets to this event will go fast. Reserve your Tea Party seats ASAP. Ages four and up are welcome at this event.
Without further ado, let’s meet the local, extremely talented, extraordinarily creative individuals who made this installation possible:
Highlighting colours, sizes and textures, Balloon Art Installations are always happy adventures – a statement of celebratory feelings and a feast for the eye. Maria’s art is spontaneous and inspired by her own milestones, as the balloon sizes and colours represent the struggles, victories and amazing people who supported her.
Kalimbahin (pink in Filipino): A tribute to her Filipino heritage and dedicated to her three daughters, this piece represents their loving character, feisty strength and charming thoughtfulness.
Tropicalla (tropical + acapella): A bright, tropical welcome through fun, warm colours, bringing joy to make you want to sing like a bird in the springtime.
Diamonds in the Sky
This piece was constructed through the process of layering geometric shapes, colours and patterns. Through this combination of formal elements, Rhys’ paintings embody a configuration or a collection of parts, demonstrating that the paintings act as a whole or a system. This work only achieves the desired optical and sensory effects when all the elements are present.
Tyler’s work invites your eyes to dance around the entirety of his piece through layering and intertwining various styles together. The bright pink leaves cast bold shadows while other plant outlines layered on top contribute to the complexity of the design, while its limited analogous colour palette serves to unite the piece.
Aura, by definition, means:
- the distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing or place. 2. a supposed emanation surrounding the body of a living creature and regarded as an essential part of the individual.
Derived from these meanings, intense colours and shapes radiate from the centre of this interactive mural to emit energy. The bench has been painted to match the background to give the illusion that it has been encapsulated by its surroundings.
Tapping into his inner child, Tyler used giant lego blocks to build a wall that features bright colours and a playful pattern for people of all ages to enjoy. The wall was assembled in such a manner that each side features a different colour scheme and background.
Reflecting the beauty of all the women she met during her solo travels of 2018, Rachael soaked up so many new faces, fashions and attitudes of three very unique destinations: Bali, Indonesia; Negril, Jamaica; and Los Angeles, California. This piece is intended to remind each and every woman of their unique beauty and inspire them to encourage, share, lend a hand and be strong for one another.
“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.” – Maya Angelou
Kaleidoscope of Dreams
Creating on both canvas and walls, Michelle finds herself drawn to the interplay between abstract shapes, bold colours and realistic images of people, animals and elements from nature. Through her work, you will notice themes of connection and love, the environment and the space to express our innermost thoughts and emotions.
Kaleidoscope of Dreams
Come wander through the land of pink palms and sand,
Fuchsia, flamingos, bubble gum and,
A tropical wave pulses through your heart,
A sunrise, a sunset, a rainbow, it’s art,
Diamonds and sparkles, a kaleidoscope of dreams,
Waves and splashes, a smile that beams,
Gaze up at the stars, what do they mean,
It’s magic, a journey, through all that is seen.
Rei Duncan is the artist behind Sachi&Jun. Described as fibre art, Sachi&Jun specializes in macramé and modern woven tapestries. Rei is self-taught, drawing inspiration from landscapes and the cultures she has been immersed in throughout her life.
Caine Chow is a visual artist based in the Japanese planting styles of kokedama, “moss ball plants”, and wabikusa. He explores the connection people have with nature and how interacting with nature has profound power and influence on us individually and as communities.
Together, these two artists have collaborated to create two unique, multi-dimensional displays at CHROMA.
When you enter the ancient forest, there is a sense of deep energy in the vastness of the trees, plants, earth and even decay. There, we feel small and insignificant but at the same time grounded as a part of that ecosystem. There is something powerful and sacred in bringing even one or two plants into our living spaces with nature. Mo•ri (forest in Japanese) is an exploration of this connection to nature that causes us to crave not only to be in nature, but to have nature in our spaces.
San·go (corals in Japanese) speaks to the dichotomy between the strength and fragility of our natural world. Like the natural world, this piece came to life and evolved over time. Beginning as a reflection of the places the artist has lived, been, and miss, San·go seeks to reflect the beauty of the natural world and how it connects us all.
“The natural world is the greatest source of excitement. The greatest source of visual beauty. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” – Sir David Attenborough
This lush garden is an extension of being in the moment and interacting with our natural world. Creating dimension and opportunities to sit and simply “be” affords the participant a quiet moment of reprieve from the pressing stresses of the outside realm. This little haven offers various places to see and take in the sounds of the fountain while perhaps perusing an antique book.
Keep In Touch
This wall is meant to be a tactile engaging collection of elements that ask the participant to stop, look and engage for at least a moment. The act of keeping in touch with the natural world is more than a simple touch; it is a way to evaluate our surroundings through feeling. In our increasingly digital world, we have an inherent craving to connect and keep it real.
Now that’s a lot of art to take in in just one day, so good thing you have six weeks to experience it all! Who knew we were home to so many amazingly talented creators. Whether you want to add a new photo to your Instagram feed or discuss colour theory with other artists, head down to Southcentre Mall to check out this installation and support Calgary’s local art before June 16.
For more information on CHROMA, visit the Southcentre Mall website.
Kelsey is a content writer, contributor and editor for Date Night. Monday-Friday she works as an independent Marketing & Communications Contractor, providing writing, editing and digital marketing services for small businesses. When she’s not busy writing about our city, you can find her hanging out in coffee shops, trying the newest fitness studio or hittin’ the road to explore the Rockies. And ice cream, always, always seeking out the best ice cream.