During the World Acadian Congress 2009, which was held between August 7 and August 23, 2009, I had the pleasure of working on a massive undertaking. When I say massive, I mean 17 feet wide by 5 feet high and weighing over 1000 pounds. Fortunately, I wasn't alone. In fact, 8313 people contributed to the creation of a wonderful work of art. This Mega-Collective Art Project is definitely a high point in my career as an artist. Below is a PDF copy of the commemorative plaque I designed for this event containing the names of the participants (sorry, in French only), as well as a local newspaper article.
Many months of preparation were required which included the development the original sketches. These would later guide the final assembly process.
Finding the right copper from recycled sources then cleaning and straightening it were one of the most time-consuming parts of the project. Eventually, nearly 400 straight segments of copper were sent to the school district in the Acadian peninsula and have everyone, staff and students alike, include their individual bend in the copper. What you see here is the result of this exercise… a literal copper spaghetti. This copper was used to create the texture/waves in the water part of the mural.
Here I am the day before the launch of the festivities. Although I was excited about getting closer to completing this project, I didn't get much time to reflect on it at that time. Setting up
the work area kept me busy till the last minute.
Over the following two weeks, a sea of people would be strolling by/through my humble work area.
This couple came all the way from Belgium to bend a couple pieces of copper.
Many of the participants came with elaborate disguise and prepared to have a good time.
The finished collective work of art is permanently installed inside the Tracadie-Sheila municipal library which is part of City Hall. For the official unveiling, next to me in this picture, Hagère Brahms (library director), Aldéoda Savoie (Mayor) and Claude Landry (Member of the legislative assembly). If you happen to be in the Acadian peninsula, here is the address for the library: 400 Rue des Hospitalières, Tracadie-Sheila, NB E1X 1G5.
This is the final result of this wonderful project.