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7 Must-See Pieces of Free Winnipeg Art

Public Winnipeg Art: Monument

Public Winnipeg Art: Michel de Broin’s Monument

Monument @ La Maison des artistes visuels francophones

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, Monument artist Michel de Broin shrouds the identity of these figures. This artistic rule-breaking plays on the old-versus-new theme inherent in Winnipeg’s French Quarter. Visitors can find other works about a block and a half east of the Provencher Bridge. The newly developed sculpture garden at this artist’s centre houses permanent and temporary pieces for contemporary tastes.
• La Maison des artistes visuels francophones, 219 Provencher Blvd., 204-237-5964, maisondesartistes.mb.ca
• Map and reviews

Public Winnipeg Art: Great Wise Owl

Public Winnipeg Art: Great Wise Owl

Great Wise Owl @ the Forks Market
At the Forks Market, a 12-foot, stainless steel grey owl silently watches over the visitors who stream down to this bustling shopping, dining and recreation spot. Great Wise Owl has his own story to tell: created by local architect Etienne Gaboury, each feather in his plumage are cutouts of animals all found in Manitoba. Sitting on a rotating base, the sculpture can be turned so sunlight streams through his feathers all day long. Drop coins in his tail to support the Forks Foundation, a charity devoted to enhancing The Forks.
• Forks Market, 1 Forks Market Rd., 204-942-6302, theforks.com
Map and reviews 

[RELATED: The 5 Winnipeg Architectural Marvels You Don’t Want to Miss]

Lawn Art @ Wellington Crescent
Take a drive down Wellington Crescent to see some of the city’s finest outdoor art, presented on the various lawns facing the Assiniboine River. Many giant sculptures grace the beautiful homes on this stretch. At the Asper Jewish Community Campus (corner of Doncaster Street), for example, installations Mother & Child and Untitled (depicting a kids’ game of tug of war) decorate the Rose and Max Rady Jewish Community Centre courtyard.
• Rady Jewish Community Centre, 123 Doncaster St., 204-477-7510, radyjcc.com

Public Winnipeg Art: Bush Pilot

Public Winnipeg Art: Bush Pilot by Leo Mol

Leo Mol Sculpture Garden @ Assiniboine Park

Located at the end of Wellington Street (see #3, above), Assiniboine Park’s Leo Mol Sculpture Garden is a must-see for every art aficionado visiting Winnipeg. Mol is the only artist in North America to have a sculpture garden solely devoted to his work. Every year, more than 250,000 visitors walk through his garden, which features 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.
• Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, 55 Pavilion Cres., 204-927-6000, website
• Map and reviews

Public Winnipeg Art: Agassiz Ice

Public Winnipeg Art: Agassiz Ice (Photo: AJ Batac)

Agassiz Ice @ Portage and Overdale

Three jagged stainless steel icebergs jut out from the grass on the banks of the Assiniboine River. Called Agassiz Ice, the polished metal installation is the only piece of “ice” you’ll find year-round in Winnipeg. The trio of icebergs sits at Portage Avenue and Overdale Street, by the pedestrian footbridge that crosses into Assiniboine Park. Artist Gordon Reeve modelled the metal sculpture after Lake Agassiz, a massive glacial lake that covered most of Manitoba in prehistoric times.
• Agassiz Ice, Overdale Street and Portage Avenue

Public Winnipeg Art: Bison

Public Winnipeg Art: Bison by Georges Gardet (Photo: Jason Empey)

Bison @ the Manitoba Legislative Building
At the front entrance of the Manitoba Legislative Building stand two striking, life-size bison sculptures at the foot of the Italian marble steps. Legend has it that the entire main floor was flooded and then frozen in order to install the 5,000-pound beasts without scratching the marble floors. The bison—modeled by Georges Gardet, who also created the Golden Boy—were placed on slabs of ice cut from the Assiniboine River and carefully slid into the building.
• Manitoba Legislative Building, 450 Broadway, 204-945-5813, website
Map and reviews

Public Winnipeg Art: emptyful

Public Winnipeg Art: emptyful by Bill Pachet (Photo: Pookitoots)

emptyful @ Millennium Library

The colours and mist effects of this ultra-modern piece of conceptual art have been dazzling visitors since it was created at Millennium Library in 2012. The beaker-shaped sculpture is the brainchild of Vancouver artist Bill Pachet, who created emptyful from 22,000 kg of steel, and positioned it to frame Winnipeg’s architectural jewels. The lights that colour the mist and steel of emptyful change with the seasons. The name was inspired by the Prairies themselves, which offer both wide-open emptiness, and a full bounty of farms, people, weather and culture.
• emptyful, Millennium Library, 251 Donald St., 204-986-6450, website


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One response to “7 Must-See Pieces of Free Winnipeg Art”

  1. Ghandoura says:

    That’s not a beaker. It’s a flask.

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