Markham Public Art Presents Double Gazebo by Native Art Department International
The City of Markham’s Public Art Program in partnership with the Varley Art Gallery of Markham is delighted to present Double Gazebo (Markham), a newly commissioned public artwork by Native Art Department International (NADI) that is now on view in the outdoor courtyard of the Varley Art Gallery of Markham through November 28, 2021.
Double Gazebo (Markham) comprises two intersected structures modeled on a traditional gazebo, and is 11 feet in height. The installation offers partial shelter while simultaneously acting as a platform for shared experiences and an awareness that our bodies exist in and occupy space. It is important to note that the paired structures presented here are understood to be intersected, not combined or conjoined, which emphasizes the fact that one cannot alter or remove one part without destroying the other.
The artwork is intended to reflect broader debates regarding social spaces of exchange, interaction, and land use. Using social spaces as a point of departure, Double Gazebo expands on the concept by constructing something that operates both as inside and outside, to foster an interaction between the concept of space and occupation.
A gazebo can be considered a rather conservative structure, but it is a familiar type, prevalent in the community in which it is installed. Double Gazebo intentionally disregards colonial definitions of what Indigenous art and design elements should look like. Instead, it calls into question the concept of “categorized aesthetic” in terms of both expression and self-representation.
An artwork needs to be activated to become public. In parallel with the physical installation of Double Gazebo (Markham), Native Art Department International has also programmed a series of online activations titled Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset. These five-part activations —With ARs, With Artists, With Movement, With Sound, With Star Knowledge—will be launched on the first day of each month from July through November on a website accompanying the project [Click HERE to enter]. The design of Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset is partly to address the related issues of social distancing and public art at this special time. Furthermore, it acts as a conceptual bridge to connect with its sibling installation Double Gazebo (MOCA) that will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto from September 29, 2021 through January 9, 2022.
For an interactive experience of With AR (Markham), a virtual supplement to Double Gazebo (Markham), please enter HERE.
Native Art Department International is a collaborative long-term project created and administered by Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan. It focuses on communications platforms and art-world systems of support while at the same time functioning as emancipation from essentialism and identity-based artwork. It seeks to circumvent easy categorization by comprising a diverse range of undertakings such as curated exhibitions, video screenings, panel talks, collective art making, and an online presence, however all activities contain an undercurrent of positive progress through cooperation and non-competition.
Double Gazebo (Markham) was conceived as part of Becoming Public Art: Working Models & Case Studies for Art in Public, a virtual public art summit co-curated by Markham’s Public Art Curator Yan Wu and Rebecca Carbin, Principle of ART+PUBLIC UnLtd. It is presented in partnership with the Varley Art Gallery of Markham. The program of Walk East for Sun Rise Walk West for Sunset is a co-production between Markham Public Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto.
Markham Public Art Curator
Markham Public Art
Markham’s Public Art Program was first initiated in 2003 and formalized in 2012. Since 2013, five permanent artworks have been commissioned through the program, with two more currently in progress. In addition, the program has facilitated a series of community art initiatives in collaboration with the City’s Public Realm section. In the fall of 2019, Markham City Council approved its Public Art Master Plan 2020-2024, and a related Implementation Plan in winter 2020. The objectives of the program are to inspire people to live, work, visit, and invest in Markham; to celebrate the city’s diverse cultures and heritage from multiple points of view; and to connect residents to Markham’s built and natural environment.