Windsor, Ont. –
When the pandemic struck, the Windsor Art Gallery was forced to close.
“In some ways it really sparked some creativity in us,” said AGW Executive Director Jennifer Matotek, who created the “Look Again! Exterior ‘project to life.
Nine works of art – which are on display inside the gallery, are now framed and bolted to the sidewalks around the core.
“We are trying to create a truly vibrant and culturally exciting downtown, a magnet for people, where they know that if they want to experience art and culture, the center -City of Windsor is the place to go, ”says Matotek.
The pieces are life-size reproductions, which Matotek says are pretty impervious to anything Mother Nature throws at them.
The city waived the cost of installing the art – and many donors, including the Stephanie and Barry Zekelman Foundation, stepped up to make the project possible.
They will be on display for a year and people are already realizing it.
Artworks from the Windsor Art Gallery were framed and placed on the sidewalks of downtown Windsor, Ontario. Wednesday, November 10, 2021 (Rich Garton / CTV Windsor)
“It’s Canadiana, you don’t have to go to the gallery to see these beautiful pieces of art, they’re right here on the street for your enjoyment,” says John Ansell, who works at Dog’s Breakfast, in front of one of the exterior paintings.
“Sometimes you’re just busy and you can’t walk into an art gallery, so it’s good to walk down the street and see something beautiful,” echoes Shantal Nantau, who has seen one works while strolling Alley of the young girl.
In early 2022, AGW teamed up with Montreal-based Moment Factory, turning these works of art into an augmented reality scavenger hunt game.
Each panel will feature a separate QR code where you can learn more about the artist and the location, creating a digital art experience.
“We try to think of different layers and different ways that people can access and think about art through the way we displayed it and the experiences that we frame for people,” says Matotek.
The Windsor Art Gallery is open to the public again, and Matotek hopes the public exhibit draws people inside.
“We hold these works of art in the public trust for the people of Windsor,” she said. “Being able to bring them out of our walls, into the community in places where you wouldn’t expect them, I think that’s a great gift for our community.”