Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC) is pleased announce the grant recipients for the Gritty to Pretty beautification grant program. Gritty to Pretty includes three grant streams: Open Grant, Façade Lighting Grant, and the recently added, Mural Grant. Out of 16 Gritty to Pretty applications, seven were awarded, which included two Open Grants, one Façade Lighting Grant, and four Mural Grants. The total grant amount awarded was $37,722 with $10,076 going to Open Grant recipients, $5,214 awarded to Façade Lighting, and $22,432 awarded to the Mural Grant recipients. The total investment being made by recipients and DHBC amounts to $49,166.
“This is the first year for the Mural Grant and we’re pleased with the number of quality applications,” said Paul MacKinnon, Executive Director of DHBC. “We’re excited to watch four new murals pop up around the Downtown. Murals are a popular and, in some cases, an economical way, to beautify an urban area. Overall, the selection committee chose applications that created a well-rounded slate of beautification projects to enhance the pedestrian experience in Downtown Halifax.”
In May 2019, DHBC launched a call for submissions for this year’s three grant programs. Gritty to Pretty grant programs were developed to award a limited number of grants for beautification projects located in Downtown Halifax. These projects contribute to DHBC’s beautification efforts to make Downtown Halifax welcoming to locals and visitors alike.
Open Grant 2019 recipients:
Applicant: PBJ Design Society – $6,812.55
Location: Grafton Park
Overview: Part 2 of #PlayMeHFX aims to build on the past four years of painted pianos by bringing a new sound to the city – a xylophone in Grafton Park that will be played by people of all ages and abilities throughout every season. This instrument is durable and designed in whimsical shapes to make it look like an art sculpture when it is not being played.
Applicant: PBJ Design Society – $3,263.69
Location: Rogers Square
Overview: The Parametric Bench, by artist Duncan Armour, represents a space that is meant to be shared and thus promotes the idea of a connected community and bring people together. The bench’s unusual style of curved layers will be sure to draw attention. The curves of the bench are meant to mimic the ripples of the ocean and represent the city’s connection to the harbour.
Façade Lighting Grant 2019 recipient:
Applicant: Starfish Properties – $5,995.75 matching grant
Location: 1717 Barrington Street
Overview: The project will see lighting installed on the G.M. Smith Building, a four-storey building constructed in 1928. The project will highlight the Victorian architecture with Art Nouveau influences, while accenting the Gothic character along the roofline.
Mural Grant 2019 recipients (in alphabetical order):
Applicant: Argyle Fine Art and The Hardman Group Limited – $2,434.79
Location: MetroPark, 1556 Hollis Street
Overview: In cooperation, Argyle Fine Art, The Hardman Group, and artist James Janssen, propose to create five art installations at Metropark. The project will inspire others in Halifax that are owners of similar structures and that they may consider adding art to their locations, too. This is in an effort to bring original art to the parkade and to transform an otherwise dark or drab wall into a wall filled with colour and creativity.
Applicant: Jacoba Nieport and Rad Consulting – $10,000
Location: 1583 Hollis Street
Overview: The mural is a collaboration among building owner Navid Saberi, Rad Consulting, and muralist Jacoba Nieport. The project is a site-specific mural designed to add something new, unexpected, and beautiful to the area. The mural’s theme is creativity, as it relates to the city’s surrounding water. It will play on light and optical illusions and will turn the eye of pedestrians passing by the wall.
Applicant: PBJ Design Society – $1,000
Location: 5189 Prince Street
Overview: Building infrastructure is a necessary feature of our urban environment – used for power, gas meters, vent pipes, etc. Inspired by the street art of Tom Bob, the infrastructure art project will pair artist Jason Skinner with urban infrastructure to transform it into something that brightens the street and brings smiles to passersby.
Applicant: Dylan Smibert and Amber Solberg – $6,725
Location: Eastern wall of the alley connected to 5222 Blowers Street, at Argyle Street
Overview: Take a stroll down Penny Lane, an immersive painted landscape capturing scenes from the famous Beatles’ song. Four panels will depict four iconic scenes from the imaginative song, while also integrating important people and landmarks from Halifax and Liverpool, England. The mural will be divided into four quadrants, one for each artist (Nick Brunt, Jack Ross, Tabitha Smith and JJ Steeves), each bringing the bright and famous Liverpool and Halifax scene to life.