Abb Takk News

Public art piece removed after burning people

Some public art in Calgary challenges visitors. Some provokes debate.

But there’s only one piece that came close to burning a hole through somebody’s clothing.

After a sun-singed jacket, some software glitches and more than a year with blue construction fence around a beautification project, city officials have removed the Wishing Well, a $559,000 art sculpture, from in front of a northeast Calgary recreation centre, unsure it can be fixed.

“It’s a beautiful, shiny object. And that, I think, is part of the problem,” said Sarah Iley, the city’s art and culture manager.

The interactive steel piece by a team from Berkeley, Calif., had complications since it was installed outside the Genesis Centre of Community Wellness in fall 2012.

Inside its hollow hemispheres, people were encouraged to send the artwork text messages.

Its interior would translate the characters into a unique light and sound display.

The same default emissions kept coming out instead, Iley said.