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Jeff de Boer’s latest public art sculpture, “Rainbow Trout”, was officially launched to the media June 1, 2016. However, if you’re 21 feet tall, made of glowing stainless steel, and have brightly coloured body segments that light up at night you’re more than likely to get noticed as soon as you join the neighbourhood!

Jeff de Boer introduces "Rainbow Trout" at the media launch, June 1, 2016. Enmax Park, Calgary.

Rainbow Trout is prominently sited above the banks of the lovely Elbow River at Calgary Foundation Crossing. This is the entrance to the new Enmax public park in Ramsay, Calgary, where, to quote Calgary Foundation Board Member Patti Pon, “the beauty of art, nature, and the spirit of our people intersect”. The sculpture greets park and path users, and they can wander through the bright steel pipes bursting from the sidewalk.

Nathan and Lora Armstrong inspect the finished sculpture - Nathan was part of the design team.

Jeff stressed that “I can’t build this, we can” in honouring his highly skilled Calgary team who built the project with him, and that it takes “a very special sequence of events to allow a project like this to happen” because of everything that is needed. “First you need a beautiful site” and with tongue in cheek “an enlightened jury!” to select the project. Jeff noted the Calgary Stampede Public Art Committee’s vision for the location—they encouraged him to augment his original design for a Rainbow Trout sculpture, a much older design that he had submitted as part of his portfolio—rather than build the newer idea that got him short-listed for the job. Jeff noted that most importantly it needed the project-appropriate budget to give him the opportunity to fully realize his design, because it allowed him to build the sculpture in a better way than he had ever hoped it could be.

It has been fabulous to be part of this project, documenting the building of this sculpture—back-stage in Jeff’s studio as he built the trout body, and then at the amazing—read HUGE—fabrication shop needed to build the stainless steel waves. So many talented people needed to make a Beautiful Meaningful Thing… Much more to come on that idea, and a feature length “making of” video to follow.

Meet the artist - join Jeff at the site on Saturday June 4, 2016, 1-4pm. North entrance to Stampede Park, Enmax Park, by the MacDonald Bridge on the east side of the Elbow river. Everyone welcome.



See links for news stories about Rainbow Trout:
TV interview for CBC
Radio interview with Jenny Howe for CBC
Calgary Herald story
A quick glimpse behind the scenes - building the sculpture
Posts by the Calgary Stampede Public Art Committee on their facebook page


 

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