Kopperscape by Karim Rashid at the Edmonton International Airport

The Edmonton International Airport has unveiled a brand-new public art installation created by internationally recognized Canadian Designer Karim Rashid. The piece is located in the US Departures lounge, which is especially exciting since that was formerly one of the most unexciting places in the airport.

From the EIA Website:

Influenced by Canada’s mountains, snow drifts and rivers, Kopperscape is a signature piece for EIA and a gathering spot for passengers travelling from Canada to the US. Kopperscape is a functional fiberglass sculpture that has seating for passengers and a performance stage for live entertainers.

I’ve been hearing rumours for some time that Rashid was working on something for our airport, but I was expecting wallpaper. This blew me away, although I was a bit disappointed by the color, which ironically was meant to be reminiscent of the Canadian penny, which is going to be phased out over the next six months. Nevertheless, the 10×10 meter installation is substantial and is an exciting piece of art for our city.

In an interview in the Edmonton Sun, Rashid discussed doing more Canadian projects. The interviewer suggets it might be because it’s too expensive for Canadians to hire him. Rashid disagrees:

“I don’t think it’s about affording,” he explains. “I think deep down Canada is still very conservative and they see me as this wild designer.”

Rashid may be on to something – Canadians are quite conservative when it comes to their art (and clothes). Perhaps its the northern climate? Nevertheless, Edmonton has become increasingly bold lately when it comes to public art. The city has been enjoying openness to contemporary art, design and architecture following the enormous popularity of our Gehry-esque Art Gallery of Alberta (designed by Randall Stout).

My husband had a chance to see this piece of art, along with many others during a recent tour of the newly expanded Edmonton International Airport. He was especially taken with Michael Hayden’s sculpture The Raven, which has been constructed out of “holigraphically-embossed acrylic and mirror polished stainless steel.” The piece (shown below) is just one of many exciting new installations that are part of the airport’s art program.

Images via flyeia.com