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ART CONFIDENTIAL: The secret stories behind Winnipeg’s hidden art spots

Undercover Art

Underneath their granite veils, two anonymous figures stand hauntingly in the Jardins des sculptures on the lawn of La Maison des artistes visuels francophones. Eschewing classical sculpture rules which typically represent specific people, Monument artist Michel de Broin shrouds their identity. That artistic rule breaking also plays on the old vs new theme inherent in Winnipeg’s French Quarter. The area is steeped in history but contemporary art lovers should make a detour a block and a half east of the Provencher Bridge to the artists’ centre. The newly developed sculpture garden houses permanent and temporary pieces for contemporary tastes. 219 Provencher Blvd, 237-5964

LAWN ART

Assiniboine Park’s Leo Mol Sculpture Garden is a must-see on every art-aficionado’s agenda. But locals know that a drive down Wellington Crescent—on route to the park—is also home to some of the city’s finest art. Drive by the many giant sculptures gracing the lawns of these beautiful character homes. Stop at the Asper Jewish Community Campus (123 Doncaster St) where installations like Mother & Child and a kids game of tug of war (unnamed) decorate the Rose & Max Rady Jewish Community Centre courtyard. Continue down the crescent and into the park for Leo Mol’s work. He is the only artist in North America to have a sculpture garden solely devoted to his art. Every year, more than 250,000 visitors walk through his garden, which feature wildlife, figures and busts. One of the most popular pieces is The Bush Pilot, a larger-than-life figure that matches the grandness of the outdoors.

READING LIGHT

Books and magazines are not the only objects that can be read at the Millennium Library. Zip past the book stacks to the first floor of the serene Richardson Reading Terrace to view The Illumination by Nicholas Wade, a modern art sculpture. A thorough reading reveals the bold block letters T-H-E locked together. Wade’s artwork encourages speculation on society’s preoccupation with language and the origins of form on typography and architecture. 251 Donald St, 986-6450.

— Gillian Leschasin

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