Move Edmonton's Talus Dome to a Better Location

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The Talus Dome is a public art installation along the Whitemud Drive in Edmonton, made from nearly 1,000 reflective metal spheres. Funded through Edmonton's "Percent for the Arts" program, it has become the object of much ridicule. On August 4, 2018, the Talus Dome was vandalized for the second time in four years.

Viewing the Talus Dome from inside a vehicle moving along the Whitemud Drive, it is easy to see why so many regard it as little more than an expensive pile of shiny balls. Those who decide to give it an up-close look, however, will discover a far more expressive shape than what can be noticed from a distance. Depending on the angle from which it is viewed, sun angle, cloud cover, and time of day, the reflections on the Dome's spheres change continuously, inviting the viewer to a second, third, and fourth look.

Unfortunately, very few people experience the Talus Dome this way. At present, the Talus Dome is located near the south side of the Quesnell Bridge, on a grassy slope between a freeway ramp and a set of wooden stairs that connect the bridge's underused pedestrian path with the River Valley trail system below. Neither does this location see a lot of pedestrian traffic, nor is it an attractive place to linger and enjoy art.

There surely are better locations for this sculpture. Imagine the Talus Dome on Churchill Square downtown, reflecting the city's buildings and people and lights. Or imagine it on the Legislature grounds, or in a popular River Valley spot such as Hawrelak Park. There are many possibilities that are better than a freeway ramp.  Here is a nice article with an illustration of what the Talus Dome could look like in a better place.

We support public art, and we support setting aside a small fraction of the cost of new infrastructure to fund art projects that make this city more enjoyable, recognizable, and interesting. However, if public art is to be experienced by as many people as possible, it needs to be located where it make sense. 

We call on the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Arts Council to explore relocating the Talus Dome to a new place, where it can be enjoyed and appreciated by more people.

Sign this petition if you want to see the Talus Dome moved to a more attractive location in Edmonton.



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