City Launches ArtWalk App
September 25, 2012
Surrey, BC - Have you ever been curious about a public art piece, or wanted to know more about who made it, how they made it, and why they made it? Surrey’s ArtWalk app, launched by the Surrey Art Gallery this month, links viewers with videos, photos, maps to answer all their questions and more with information about the public art in Surrey’s City Centre neighbourhood.
Entitled "ArtWalk", the app supports a walking tour that leads visitors through parks, plazas, and tree lined streets to reveal 11 public artworks among the new landscape and architecture of Surrey’s exciting City Centre. QR Codes on the signs for the artworks direct smart phone users to the app, or you can find it on iTunes or from the City’s website.
“The ArtWalk app is designed to easily share knowledge and appreciation of Surrey’s growing public art collection, which includes pieces by some of Canada’s most important artists,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “This app will encourage people to discover our public art at the same time they discover Surrey’s recreation and cultural facilities.”
Public art in Surrey’s city centre includes a major painting by Gordon Smith and silicone sculptures by Liz Magor inside Surrey’s newest library, as well as numerous sculptures in Holland Park and a work in progress for Surrey’s new City Hall. One of the most exciting public art features is at the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre. The 100 foot wide Surrey Urban Screen, serves as an outreach venue for the Surrey Art Gallery and presents a changing program of digital art by regional and international artists.
“Surrey is proud to have the largest non commercial screen venue dedicated to art in North America” says Councillor Judy Villeneuve, Chair of the Cultural Development Advisory Committee and Council’s liaison to the Public Art Advisory Committee. “During the recent cultural planning process when the City consulted residents about what kind of public art they wanted to see, they told us they were excited by interactive, illuminated and media art in addition to traditional sculpture. We are very proud to have created a unique venue that supports this kind of art and is meaningful to our young and diverse demographic.”
The ArtWalk app includes links to photographs, information about the ideas and processes used to create the artwork and short video interviews with the artists. The app uses the smart phone’s GPS and geolocation capability to guide app users to the nearest artwork. If you’re not in Surrey, users can still use the app to check out the map for where artworks are located, and use all the links.
Keen art appreciators are rewarded when they demonstrate they’ve explored all 11 artworks in City Centre, and then visit the Surrey Art Gallery: they receive one of the Gallery’s publications about contemporary art. At the Gallery art appreciators can continue learning about art in Surrey including more digital and interactive art in the TechLab.
App users can “star” or bookmark their favourite art pieces in City Centre, and share links to them with their friends using social media. The ArtWalk app was created in both English and French and users can toggle between the two languages.
The ArtWalk app is a partnership project of the Surrey Art Gallery together with the Surrey Public Art Program and was made possible by the Canadian Heritage Information Network. The project is part of a research initiative designed to advance knowledge of museums and their collections through mobile technologies.
Founded in 1975, the Surrey Art Gallery is a contemporary art museum with a mission to engage the public in ongoing dialogue about issues and ideas that affect its numerous communities, as expressed through art. Surrey’s Public Art Program was established in 1998 and manages a collection of over 50 pieces in parks and facilities throughout the City.
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Manager, Visual and Community Art