Wreck City is currently open to the public until April 27th
Slated for demolition, nine houses, three garages and one greenhouse in the Calgary community of Sunnyside are going to go out with an artistic bang.
Wreck City: An Epilogue for 809 is being touted as the largest project of its kind in Calgary. Eight artistcurators and more than 100 artists, musicians and performers are participating in transforming the homes into intriguing works of art through various mediums and sharing them with the public April 19-27.
“I think, to the artist, we’re making this micro city just of artists, you’ll walk down the street and it’s all your best friends waving from every window, it’s this sort of weird utopian space,” said Caitlind Brown, local artist and one of the curators for the project. “The community is really interesting, they’ve been super excited and curious and especially with the artists working in spaces that are more outside.”
The homes have been divided amongst artists as per the space they’ve needed for their creations — set to include slides and secret hatches amongst brightly painted rooms using supplies via grants, donations, the artists own pockets and yards and the homes themselves.
“(We’re) trying to use as much material from the actual houses as possible,” said Brown.
Local scavenger artist Lane Shordee is working with a greenhouse space, repurposing plant boxes into a tree house like structure. He summed up what it will be like to see the pieces of art created demolished.
“It feels more connected to what’s happening here so I think it’s a statement itself,” he said. “Things are really fleeting, they come and go, so art should reflect that in some way.”
Brown explained the simple forest green painted garage in one of the Wreck City yards bearing the number “809” was home to one of Calgary’s first garage based galleries, spaces that help artists in the transitioning period in their careers.
“809 is the sort of a long term active arts community that has been in this neighbourhood, then when they found out the houses were being demolished they were like ‘Hey what can we do with all these houses and how can we get on board with the company that’s redeveloping them?’”
That company is Vancouver based Bucci Developments Ltd., the developers also behind the Tribeca project in the community of Mission.
“Bucci Developments recognizes (Sunnyside’s) rich art culture, after the artists approached us with the concept, we were thrilled to be able to support the project as venue sponsor,” said Mike Bucci, Bucci Developments Ltd. vice president.
Once the buildings are demolished, Bucci said the site will be home to VEN, a four-storey, 115-unit condominium development with construction starting this summer.