Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Catching up

From Chicago, the final tally: Over 176,000 visitors came to Millennium Park in the bitter winter to see Gordon Halloran’s Ice Wall.

And in the end, Museum of Modern Ice garnered 1.8 million dollars of free publicity with Paintings Below Zero on Chase Promenade.

On October 3rd we took the ferry to the mainland and finally signed the letter of agreement with the City of Richmond for The Ice Gate at the Olympic Oval. We’ve been working on getting this gig – meetings, emails, presentations -- for probably two years. Good things take time.

There is a sign on Ann Phelps door which says: “Good, fast, cheap – pick two”.

Here she is with Gord just after the contract was signed. She’s probably making some kind of zany joke. Her straight man delivery is impeccable.

Here’s what our press release says:

"Gordon Halloran, the B.C. artist who invented the new art form of paintings made in ice, Paintings Below Zero, has been recently commissioned to create a monumental installation for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The City of Richmond, which hosts the Speed Skating Oval has contracted with Halloran to create an enormous “Ice Gate” at the entrance to the Oval for the duration of the games.

"This dramatic installation in ice will serve as a stunning visual tribute to Canada, the City of Richmond and the Province of British Columbia throughout the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

"Made with a uniquely Canadian art form, Paintings Below Zero, The Ice Gate will be the largest installation the artist has created to date, measuring over 100 feet long and 14 feet in height.

"Inspired by a glacial wall in its final stages of movement toward the ocean, the installation will evolve over time with natural and planned changes, encouraging visitors to return frequently to observe the activity.

"The installation, enormous in scale yet intricate in detail, will reveal stunning patterns created by the interaction of pigment with the crystal structure of the ice."

Kiri McLeod helped midwife the contract, wrestling it from the lawyer’s office and delivering it to us numerous times and back again. Here she is with marketing assistant David Chinn, in front of a map of the “O” zone. This is where it all going to happen, come the big two weeks in February of you-know-when.

Then on November 5th, with 464 days left to countdown to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Inniskillin Wines, an Official Wine Supplier, officially launched the exclusive Inniskillin Vidal Icewine Commemorative Edition in Vancouver.

"Each commemorative bottle features the stunning artwork of Canadian artist Gordon Halloran, who made his Olympic debut with his Paintings Below Zero installation as Canada's official representative at the Cultural Olympiad of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy. Using ice as his canvas, Halloran paints spectacular abstract images that, like Inniskillin Icewine, have garnered worldwide acclaim." A portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold will support the Canadian Olympic team and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Here's Gord with Scott Starra from Inniskillin Wines with Deidra Dionne and Steve Omischl, who are each two-time Olympic competitors. At the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Dionne captured a bronze medal.

Last weekend we went into the city to meet with Rafael Santa Ana of Studio Elemental. He and Gord discussed architectural elements of the design for The Ice Gate.

News from the crew: Jaz Halloran finished his design project for the Diwali Festival, and we caught up with him next to one of the posters he designed - on display all over the city of Vancouver.

Production Supervisor Tim Furness & crew Jaz Halloran unpacked ice equipment from storage to a new ice studio on the Sunshine Coast. Two days later here he is, bon voyage, Tim!

Photo credits: Hamid Attie (Inniskillin photos) and Caitlin Hicks