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Gordie Howe Bridge project to include work from Port Moody artist

Port Moody's artist-in-residence wins a major public art commission in Ontario.

A Port Moody artist will soon see her work as part of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge project in Ontario.

Thursday, Sara Graham was announced as the artist who will create the artistic facade for the Energy Complex building at the Canadian Port of Entry.

Her commission, once complete this summer, will measure seven metres high and 63 metres long. “It’s a very huge project, and in scale as well,” she told the Tri-City News. “I’m very excited.”

Graham will use a technology called Formliner to make tiles that will be mounted by construction workers onto the building.

Next week, she’ll be introduced at an online meeting — hosted by the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority and the Bridging North America — where the public will give input on her concept. 

Graham will talk about her upcoming work as well as her background, which was key to her presentation when shortlisted last year with four other artists, she said.

“The objective of the visual art program is to create memorable, high-quality permanent works of art of singular quality, character and presence consistent with the international importance of the bridge, and to celebrate and promote Canadian creativity and friendship with the U.S.,” a project spokesperson told the Tri-City News, in an email. “Providing a welcoming experience for travellers using the Gordie Howe International Bridge is a priority for the project’s design team."

"Sara’s work will ensure that buildings are visually appealing, unique and memorable.”

Now under construction, the Gordie Howe International Bridge is a cable-stayed crossing of the Detroit River that will connect Detroit and Windsor, linking Highway 401 in Ontario with interstates 75 and 96 in Michigan; it is expected to open in 2024.

Graham, who is originally from Ottawa, has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Guelph. 

Her latest public art piece was installed in Richmond last year.

In January, Graham wrapped up a group exhibit at Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre, titled Wayfinding, with Leanne M Christie and Devon Knowles.

She is Port Moody’s inaugural artist-in-residence; her term ends in June.