Calgary’s streets are full of public art that offer great photo opportunities, whether you want to mimic a statue’s stance or just appreciate what it represents. We’ve found five of the best statues to help make your visit memorable.
Listen in on the conversation of two pudgy businessmen on Stephen Avenue. As these two men ‘talk business,’ watch real businessmen walk past perhaps even dressed in similar attire. Artist William McElcheran’s business fat cats in “Conversation” are a satiric spin on classical artists’ work of producing larger-than-life heroic images.“WOMEN ARE PERSONS!”
In Olympic Plaza, five women—Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby and Nellie McClung—tower high for everyone to see. These are the women who challenged the definition of ‘persons’ under section 24 of the British North America Act to include females. Artist Barbara Paterson portrays these Albertan women at an imaginary moment set in 1929, where they find out the triumphant news of their appeal to the British Privy Council for the ‘Persons’ Case. “Women Are Persons!” was unveiled on October 18, 1999 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ‘Persons’ Case.“STARTING FOURTH”
In an identical motion, a cluster of seven greenish figures take one step towards Fourth Street. Each figure is over seven feet high and bares a knowing expression. To artist Garry Jones, this 1995 piece symbolizes that all people are cut from the same mould.“THE WINNER”
At the entrance to Century Gardens, you’ll find a lone chess player contemplating his next move. His eyes are fixed on the board as his hand hovers over the chess pieces. Take a seat across from this bronze gentleman to see if you can figure out his strategy and be prepared to hear passersby call out, “Who’s winning?” Having the public interact with his work was part of artist J. Seward Johnson Jr.’s vision for the 1983 piece.“JUST A TASTE”
At the Calgary Zoo, sneak in between a boy and a girl “sharing” an ice cream to steal your own lick. As the boy leans in for ‘just a taste,’ the expression on the girl’s face reveals she is not impressed with the amount he is after. Artist J. Seward Johnson Jr.’s inspiration for this sculpture came when he noticed his daughter struggling to find a boundary between generosity and being taken advantage of as she played with her friends. This bronze piece is from his Man On The Street series and was donated by the Devonian Group of Charitable Foundations in 1985.—Chloe Jones