Travel Work and Local Community
We have art all through the office here at Kon-strux. Shannon says, “I have always loved art. I collect when I travel. It’s a great way to guide my time in different countries and to create a deliberate connection to the local artistic community.”
I asked Shannon about her favourite local artists here in Calgary:
Daniel Kirk & Katie Green
“Those two are doing incredible work together. You’ve for sure seen their murals around the city and maybe didn’t know this was a local team. They have a whole dialogue going with the city and how the artistic and cultural world here in Calgary becomes part of who we think we are as an urban environment, what kind of spaces become residential and commercial incubators and inspiration for designers and creative people, and how to interact with the environment in culturally insightful and innovative ways.
“That community connection and nurturing vibe have always had resonance for me. I address that in our business in part by making sure all our Kon-strux demolition waste is processed by a recycler who can upcycle parts and re-use building materials in other projects. This isn’t what Danny & Katie are doing, but these kinds of initiatives come from a similar spiritual place: giving back, digging into the community and being of service beautifully on the landscape.”
One of Danny & Katie’s most recent projects is at the King Edward School cSPACE arts incubator – check it out!
“Maya Gohill is a Calgary portraitist I admire. You can see that she pushes her work in new directions all the time – evolution is plain and evident in her paintings, and that’s exciting. As a lifelong learner, I’m always interested when you can see change and dynamism in an artist’s work. The designers we work with at Kon-strux are still growing their souls, and I encourage that. When they’re looking at materials and layouts, you can see the wheels moving and as a designer myself, I know that look: I’m working, I’m inside the world, I’m building a vision. No two bathrooms or kitchens are the same, but there’s a through-line of theme and form. One of our award-winning national projects was based on a dream our designer had one night during the design process.
“That’s what I like about Maya’s work, too. It has a dream-like quality to it but is so grounded. I love her colours and realism.”
Caitlind r. c. Brown & Wayne Garrett
“Caitlind and Wayne are amazing, of course. I like their collaborative approach to building their ideas and enacting their projects on the landscape. They’re working at significant scale and in the public realm – that’s exciting for Calgary! Fabulous public art raises the bar for design in the public aesthetic consciousness. People who are looking to renovate their homes or even do a basement renovation have, even if they don’t realize it, seen and absorbed the thrill of that raised bar as they move around the city. As Calgary becomes a denser palette for excellent public art and imagination, it matures the public’s design aesthetic throughout the region.
“And Caitlind & Wayne travel so much, their work has been around the world, now. Twenty countries? Something incredible for such young homegrown artists. They were just in Japan building an installation for an avant-garde festival there. I’m passionate about travel and have been all my life. Getting out of your head and into the wider world continually inspires me to think big for Calgary. It’s not about the baseboards we custom build or the porcelain tile in a bathroom renovation – in every one of our projects the details are central of course, but they’re inspired by the big picture. And for me, that’s the whole world. I’m a fan of the best of the best, and Caitlind and Wayne are geniuses about involving the public in their world and fleshing out the creative sparks that live inside everyone. That’s incredible art.”
Check out Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett’s new project, Invisible City, and have your say in how it will roll out.