Of Alley Pots and Marbles


This is the month for sculptures in Ottawa. The 15 Postcards from the Piazza went in on Little Italy’s Preston Street last week. This week it’s the turn for West Wellington to see the 18 Wellington Marbles (a nice play on the Elgin Marbles I thought). Then in the first week of October, there will be unveiling of the Chinatown Royal Arch (now that will take a big piece of velvet to cover!) and sometime after that the King Edward Avenue seed pod art.

In the picture below, workers were re-installing the foundation pieces yesterday on West Wellie. About 9 of the foundations had to be replaced, and it certainly looked to be a tight race to get them made and installed before the sculptors brought their sculptures to the street.  If the bases weren’t ready, would they have lost their marbles?

The first sculpture I saw looked pretty plain from the street side, with only the hint of something arty in the musical notes at its base:

But on the sidewalk side, it opens up to reveal a musical keyboard, paying tribute to the music store adjacent.

Here are two more pieces, apparently of fire plug fruit and veggies. All pieces are carved from white or grey-white marble.

Further along I noticed a top hat sitting atop draped fabric on a fireplug, opposite GCTC; and a child’s car seat with a teddy bear in it perched atop a fireplug outside Bridgehead.

More sculptures will be installed over the next few nights; the official opening ceremony is this Friday evening above Thyme and Again. There will be public tours of the sculptures on Saturday and Sunday with the sculptors, sign up at publicartprogram@ottawa.ca. The Wellington Marbles artists are Marcus Kucey-Jones and Ryan Lotecki.

5 thoughts on “Of Alley Pots and Marbles

  1. There was a public consultation on this and the public got a vote from a number of choices, though the results were ultimately decided by a jury with the public vote of an unknown weight in their decision, nor the vote results themselves made public.

    That was 2 years ago… I can’t remember what I voted for, but these were certainly in my top 3 (might have been my 2nd choice). My only problem with them is the base seems abnormally large and detracts from sculpture itself but compared to the other choices at the time, they were one of the better ones IMO…

    I just hope the placement of some of the less generic sculptures don’t become dated as stores move off the main street.

  2. I think the one in front of Agave Restaurant is…..an Agave plant.

    Incidentally, that is a good place for inexpensive but good southwestern food. Though I haven’t been in a while and I know there have been ownership changes so not sure if it’s still the same.

  3. I’m figuring it was a good idea to keep the bases large. Keeps the the fire hydrant part further from the dogs’ reach.

    As for the ‘notes’ at the base of the one with the piano keys on the other side, those are piano pedals, not notes 😀

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