The Nest

Submitted by Public Art Services

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Client: Seton Recreation Facility

Location: Calgary, AB, Canada

Completion date: 2018

Project Team

Artist

Donald Lipski

Project Manager

John Grant

Public Art Services

Overview

For Calgary’s spectacular new 330,000 sq. ft. Seton Recreational Facility, artist Donald Lipski designed a site specific installation comprised of a nine foot diameter acrylic “nest” with three flocks of life-sized hawks, owls and herons flying to it, each bringing a new branch for the nest. 30 fiberglass birds in total are suspended along the three main hallways that meet at the central hub where the nest is located. The birds represent 3 species that are familiar to the Seton community: Swainson’s Hawk, Great Blue Heron, and the Great Horned Owl. The hawk’s wingspan is about 4.5′; the heron’s is about 6′; and the owl is about 5′.​

Goals

Donald Lipski, was inspired by the site as a place of nurture, growth, meeting and discovery. 'The Nest' is a symbol of community, in Lipski’s words, “I believe this artwork reflects the vision of connectivity for the regional facilities for all ages and abilities. 'The Nest', in a beautiful and poetic way, will reflect The City’s values of inclusion, equitability and accessibility, diversity, adaptability and responsiveness, innovation, community vitality and stewardship. It celebrates who you are and your role in the community.” In February 2015 Lipski asked the community for their input via an online survey, inviting the community to be involved in the selection of the bird species represented in the final work.

Process

Public Art Services was invited by artist Donald Lipski along with other creative professionals to work as a collaborative partner in the design, engineering, fabrication and installation oversight for this project. The nest was built in Denver, CO by Elmendorf Geurts and the birds were brilliantly sculpted and hand-painted by Christopher Collins in Pennsylvania. Collins sculpted the birds in modular parts so molds could be created for each body part allowing the birds to be assembled in different postures and aspects of flight.