Mike Milligan Iron Works

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Artistic and Creative: Bank Street Revitalization

"Chairs in the air "

The following Ottawa Citizen article describes the sculptures designed by artist Tim desClouds and fabricated by Mike Milligan Iron Works.

Tim desClouds will bring high art to the Glebe
Paul Gessell, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, December 08, 2007

"Twenty-six life-sized steel chairs, looking like props for an Alice in Wonderland movie, will be placed permanently on Bank Street in the Glebe during the next few years. Some of the mainly red, highly decorated chairs will be for sitting upon, curbside, while waiting for a bus, having a chat with friends or simply smelling the roses blooming in nearby parks.

"But some of the chairs will be unsittable, except for the birds. They will be on poles, four metres or more off the ground and at odd angles, adorned with wings, small figures, wheels, ladders, stars and other attachments, some of them "found" objects from the neighbourhood.

"The poles for the elevated chairs will be slippery to discourage adventurous kids and drunks from playing King of the Castle on some slanted, throne-like contraption reigning, from on high, over Bank Street.

"The chairs are part of the city's major "rehabilitation" of Bank Street in the Glebe. That has resulted in Tim desClouds, a Canterbury High School art teacher, winning the competition over two dozen other artists for a project the artist has titled, A Place To Nest. A Place To Reflect. Have A Seat.

"The chairs between Lansdowne Park and Third Avenue are to be installed in 2010. The next year will mark the debut of the chairs from Third Avenue to the Queensway.

"desClouds is Ottawa's chief wizard of whimsy and whirligigs. You have undoubtedly seen his 1994 work, Cows Fly Home on Sunday, in front of the Aberdeen Pavilion in Lansdowne Park. That is a winged cow with wheels atop a tall pole. Or maybe you have seen his more recent fantasy sculptures, designed to stimulate dementia patients, inside the long-term care facilities on Porter Island. "

Concept Drawing

Finished Product