Toronto proper isn’t the only part of the GTA where you’ll find formidable examples of public art.
Sure, Hogtown is home to scores of these works, but Mississauga, just to the west, has its fair share of public art both indoors and out. To showcase some of the one-time suburb’s finest examples, BuzzBuzzNews’ James Bombales photographed more than a dozen pieces.
Great Bear and the Seven Hunters
Painted over six weeks in 1986 on the 30-metre-diametre dome hanging above the Mississauga Council Chamber, artist Sharon McCann’s circular mural, the Great Bear and the Seven Hunters, is a visual interpretation of the Ojibway legend of the same name.
Pool of Knowledge
One of several of his works at this arts centre, Stacey Spiegel’s 1997 cast-aluminum-and-concrete Pool of Knowledge is a fairly literal interpretation of its title. Letters of the alphabet appear strewn on the ground and water, shot out from fountains, pools around them.
Binary numbers of stone make up Stacey Spiegal’s Data Wall.
Jutting out onto a sidewalk, this stainless steel sculpture is, as its name suggests, a wall of books.
Studio Pavilion may appear to be a regular — albeit stylized — fence at first blush, but each segment represents a bar code, casting interesting shadows as light filters through the spaces between slats.
The Bearded Ones
The bearded ones might be ancestral goats, or maybe they’re musk oxen — the City of Mississauga’s website suggests it could go either way. The sculpture was created in 1996 and underwent a full restoration in 2014.
The bronze and glass Building Colour is meta. While the variegated LED lighting is probably its most eye-catching element, on a ledge are sculptures of the tools needed for glass installation. In other words, it’s a predominantly glass work of art about installing a glass work of art.
The angular formation could lead you to believe these birds are geese, but they’re not. They are passenger pigeons — many, many passenger pigeons. Billions of these migratory birds used to fly along Lake Ontario’s southern coast and roosts in Mississauga.
Nine items mirror the path of the nearby Credit River: a shell, tree, fish, fox, rail, boat, tank, lion and hive.
Channelling ’50s road signage, these askew arrows from 2012 “point to the future and the City’s vision for a new vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, urban downtown,” says the City of Mississauga’s website.
The Messenger Project
A bronze eagle perches atop a pile of luggage out the Erindale GO Station. The bird of prey symbolizes the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, a Anishinaabe sub-tribe who travelled great distances on foot to relay messages.
One of the city’s more abstract works, at least stylistically, Ferruccio Sardella’s 2014 statue presents a stylized sitting child.
Giving the impression of pages blowing in the wind, The Book, commissioned a decade ago and installed this year, features pages of words relating to writing and anatomy.
Buen Amigo is the city’s first privately-commissioned public artwork, according to The Mississauga News. In the artist’s words from a 2011 statement: “With the Absolute, I see an opportunity to address one of my great passions as a sculptor — the horse. Emerging from what were once farmer’s fields, there is an agrarian aspect to the history of the site. This recollection of the past in a modern way serves to contrast the contemporary city that is growing around it.”