Thursday, July 18, 2024

Dead crow sculpture that ruffled some feathers to remain along Ottawa pathway until 2025

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The roadkill crow sculpture will continue to lie along the LeBreton Flats Pathway west of downtown Ottawa.

The National Capital Commission says the “When the Rubber Meets the Road” sculpture by Gerald Beaulieu will be on display until June 2025. The sculpture is located a short walk from the Pimisi LRT Station.

“Hey babe wake up, the new crow hours just dropped,” the NCC said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“Surprise! Everybody’s favourite or least favourite piece of public art is extending its stay.”

The ‘When the Rubber Meets the Road’ art installation is made from old tires. It’s located along the LeBreton Flats Pathway in Ottawa’s west end. (Jeremie Charron/CTV News Ottawa)

Social media was abuzz with criticism last June when the five metres-long crow made entirely out of recycled tires first appeared. Social media posts by CTV News Ottawa and the NCC solicited hundreds of comments about the artwork and the federal agency’s decision to showcase the work.

“This makes me sad. It’s a dead crow,” said one person.

“How much this pile of tires cost the government?” said a comment on Twitter. “Was it just dropped in a field. I am not an art connoisseur but what is it?”

The plaque next to the “When the Rubber Meets the Road” sculpture says, “This large crow lies flat on the ground in a manner that resembles roadkill, symbolizing the collision between human and natural works.”

“The crow is made from old tires, which refer to the harm caused by our commuter culture as well as the crow’s role as a scavenger of urban waste. The artwork invites us to reflect on how we impact our environment and the creatures that inhabit our shared spaces.”

The NCC told CTV News Ottawa last year that the one-year rental of the piece cost $14,022. Keeping the crow in Ottawa for another year will cost an extra $7,253.

“This is the same rate as the 2023 rental and is aligned with rates recommended by CARFAC (Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens) for fair compensation of artists. The original one-year rental rate of $14,022 also included transportation for the artist and shipping for the artwork,” NCC spokesperson Valerie Dufour said in a statement.

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