Sown - Public Art Installation

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An artist's rendering of how the Town of Midland Public Art Installation will look when completed.

As part of the King Street Rejuvenation Project, the Town of Midland has commissioned a Public Art work to be installed at the corner of King Street and Bayshore Drive. Sown was conceived by Camille Myles and Holly Archer (artists), in partnership with Michael P. Bilyk of Lafontaine Iron Werks Inc. (fabrication and installation) and Jonathan Killing of Toque Innovations (industrial designer). Learn more about this exciting project and art piece that is scheduled to be installed in summer 2021.

The Town of Midland recognizes the financial support of the Rural Economic Program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Artistic Description of the Public Art Piece “Sown”
“Sown” stands for the unnamed heroes who shape our community; an ode to the underrepresented who are vital to the fabric of our history but remain largely anonymous. The piece acknowledges a flawed past, and yet from this imperfect past there is new growth. The seeds we plant today, the community we build, the opportunities we make for one another will determine our future.

We have chosen five “log-like” pillars, of different sizes and at different positions. Physically the pillars reflect our industrial history of logging, shipping, the railway, agriculture, and manufacturing. The pillar design concept was selected to echo our collective strength, to represent the five fingers of the hands that built this community, and to mirror the local geography of the five Bays from the foundational Indigenous legend of Kitchikewana. Our history is deeply rooted in a foundation established by Indigenous communities. European settling of Indigenous territories forever altered the natural and cultural landscape of Midland and communities across Canada- this truth must be acknowledged. The element of new growth in the piece intentionally draws on the feminine, interacts with light, and the visual of breaking free, signifying the need to create space for one another, and move beyond constraining societal constructs. Our shared past has moments of light and darkness; it is our foundation. The decisions we make, the seeds we sow, are paramount. We are all a part of that future. This piece is a hopeful homage to Midland, a place shaped by memory, welcoming what lies ahead.

Concept Boards

Click to view larger image
Click to view larger image
Click to view larger image
Click to view larger image


Elements of Design

  1. Pillars: Five circular pillars hold a seed-like shape high above the ground, a seemingly precarious feat. The pillars resemble white pine trunks, reminiscent of the local logging industry, and highlighting the importance of the white pine to this community. Embracing an industrial feel, these pillars will be made of oxidized steel - creating a weathered, antique finish that reflects the past, the local shipping industry, and our regional geology. The pillars are varied in length and represent our community’s unsung heroes, the foundation our community is built upon and the cornerstones of our future. We chose five pillars to symbolize the five fingers of the human hand (the hands that built this town), and our local geography, focusing on the history of the five Bays formed by the hand of Kitchikewana. The total height of the piece is approximately 25 feet.
  2. Seed-like shape: In contrast to the rough, industrial look of the oxidized steel, this organic shape made of faceted reflective steel is held solidly by the pillars but gives the appearance of being on unstable footing, acknowledging that our history is flawed. The shape has been conceptualized to mimic a white pine seed with a mirrored flat surface at its bottom to capture the viewer’s upward gaze, grounding them in the present and reflecting on their role in shaping the future. It also evokes the feel of the Canadian shield, a solid granite rock, iconic of Georgian Bay.
  3. Sapling: Seemingly growing from the piece, this new growth ties in strong feelings of a hopeful future- something new and still unknown. The sapling grows from a shiny seed, the idealized view of what the future could be. The sapling itself is not as pristine and shiny as the ideal but it is polished and acknowledges the possibility that lays before us.

As part of the King Street Rejuvenation Project, the Town of Midland has commissioned a Public Art work to be installed at the corner of King Street and Bayshore Drive. Sown was conceived by Camille Myles and Holly Archer (artists), in partnership with Michael P. Bilyk of Lafontaine Iron Werks Inc. (fabrication and installation) and Jonathan Killing of Toque Innovations (industrial designer). Learn more about this exciting project and art piece that is scheduled to be installed in summer 2021.

The Town of Midland recognizes the financial support of the Rural Economic Program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Artistic Description of the Public Art Piece “Sown”
“Sown” stands for the unnamed heroes who shape our community; an ode to the underrepresented who are vital to the fabric of our history but remain largely anonymous. The piece acknowledges a flawed past, and yet from this imperfect past there is new growth. The seeds we plant today, the community we build, the opportunities we make for one another will determine our future.

We have chosen five “log-like” pillars, of different sizes and at different positions. Physically the pillars reflect our industrial history of logging, shipping, the railway, agriculture, and manufacturing. The pillar design concept was selected to echo our collective strength, to represent the five fingers of the hands that built this community, and to mirror the local geography of the five Bays from the foundational Indigenous legend of Kitchikewana. Our history is deeply rooted in a foundation established by Indigenous communities. European settling of Indigenous territories forever altered the natural and cultural landscape of Midland and communities across Canada- this truth must be acknowledged. The element of new growth in the piece intentionally draws on the feminine, interacts with light, and the visual of breaking free, signifying the need to create space for one another, and move beyond constraining societal constructs. Our shared past has moments of light and darkness; it is our foundation. The decisions we make, the seeds we sow, are paramount. We are all a part of that future. This piece is a hopeful homage to Midland, a place shaped by memory, welcoming what lies ahead.

Concept Boards

Click to view larger image
Click to view larger image
Click to view larger image
Click to view larger image


Elements of Design

  1. Pillars: Five circular pillars hold a seed-like shape high above the ground, a seemingly precarious feat. The pillars resemble white pine trunks, reminiscent of the local logging industry, and highlighting the importance of the white pine to this community. Embracing an industrial feel, these pillars will be made of oxidized steel - creating a weathered, antique finish that reflects the past, the local shipping industry, and our regional geology. The pillars are varied in length and represent our community’s unsung heroes, the foundation our community is built upon and the cornerstones of our future. We chose five pillars to symbolize the five fingers of the human hand (the hands that built this town), and our local geography, focusing on the history of the five Bays formed by the hand of Kitchikewana. The total height of the piece is approximately 25 feet.
  2. Seed-like shape: In contrast to the rough, industrial look of the oxidized steel, this organic shape made of faceted reflective steel is held solidly by the pillars but gives the appearance of being on unstable footing, acknowledging that our history is flawed. The shape has been conceptualized to mimic a white pine seed with a mirrored flat surface at its bottom to capture the viewer’s upward gaze, grounding them in the present and reflecting on their role in shaping the future. It also evokes the feel of the Canadian shield, a solid granite rock, iconic of Georgian Bay.
  3. Sapling: Seemingly growing from the piece, this new growth ties in strong feelings of a hopeful future- something new and still unknown. The sapling grows from a shiny seed, the idealized view of what the future could be. The sapling itself is not as pristine and shiny as the ideal but it is polished and acknowledges the possibility that lays before us.

Celebrate your local hero

The history of our community is shared and we, the artist team, can only speak from our own perspectives and experiences, we need your help to add to the story of Midland. Sown is an homage to the unnamed heroes who shape our community; those who are vital to the fabric of our history and those who today make our community a great place to live. This is your space to share your stories of our unsung community heroes. 

Please share a few sentences and an image of/representing your local hero.

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Page last updated: 23 August 2021, 06:59