For one northern artist it's important for people to feel like part of public art in their community.
Architect artist Aiden Callison originally from Smithers answered a call for submissions to create a piece of public art in Prince George that celebrates diversity, which he considered a challenge to showcase in one piece of artwork.
"It has to be captured in a way that you're not portraying cliched ideas but are innovative and interesting," said Callison. The artwork will be on permanent display at the Prince George Airport, with the opening ceremony Saturday, June 9 at 1:30 p.m.
The piece has 440 photographed portraits hanging in chandelier style from a steel frame in the form of the intersection of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers.
"The idea came from a quote within the call for submissions, they talk about how the Lheidli T'enneh refer to Prince George as a gathering place where two rivers flow together," said Callison. "Even the direct translation of their name - Lheidli means where the two rivers flow together and T'enneh means the people. My work is really composed of those two elements, the confluence of the two rivers and the people of Prince George."
Hanging from the frame are transparent panels that have black and white images printed on them and there's about 100 left blank along with the 440.
"The idea is that we had 440 people take part in the project and that only represents a portion of Prince George and what we want for the blank 100 is for people to imagine themselves in those photographs with the idea that moving forward the population and diversity in Prince George will continue to grow and change," said Callison. "Public art becomes part of the community and I think successful public art makes the community feel like they are part of the artwork."
The project was commissioned by Welcome PG: Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society, Prince George Chamber of Commerce, Initiatives Prince George, and the Prince George Airport Authority. The project was also funded by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation and the Government of Canada.
"That part was never planned but I think it's been successful through the partnership with Welcome PG."
Everyone is welcome to attend the official art opening at the airport at 1:30 on Saturday, June 9. There is free parking at the airport for the event.