yycLCL February 2023

A collage of three photos showing progress of an indoor mural over time
Doug Driediger | Photo: Courtesy Metrographics

yycLCL February 2023

1, 2, 3… ice age! Big things (think wooly mammoth big) are taking shape in the Metrographics Calgary studios, part of a major exhibit renewal currently underway for the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre (YBIC).

The project involves a complete refurbishment of the centre’s main exhibit hall with a focus on interactive media and artistic outcomes. Expansive mural art and sculpted bas relief will showcase the huge diversity of animals that lived in the North, creating a vibrant picture of the world as it was tens of thousands of years ago. The new displays will also feature animals that changed in response to environmental and climate change — something that is very relevant today.

Shown here, Metro’s Creative Director/Lead Artist Doug Driediger begins underpainting one of four mural walls that will provide an immersive experience for visitors. The 10-foot high murals will depict three different stages of the ice age: an early glacial period, the last interglacial period and the last glacial period. Features of the holocene period (the geological epoch that we are living in today) will also be represented. “We hope the mural will create a sense of wonder about an ancient landscape and its diverse and very different animals, many of which disappeared over 10,000 years ago,” Driediger says.

The ice age mural is one of many creative initiatives Metrographics currently has underway, including other interpretive works in progress for the Calgary Zoo, the National Parks system and Environment and Climate Change Canada. “We love our work — sharing big picture ideas about Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in an accessible, artistic and fun way,” Driediger adds. Metrographics’ studios specialize in interpretive design services, blending graphic design and fine art.

Driediger’s paralleling (three decade!) career in public art benefits the team as they undertake these endeavours. On any given day you might find the Metro team busy collaborating on sculptures, painting floor-to-ceiling murals, or even hand-decorating 3D topographical models for various Parks places. “Our team is fearless, innovative and wildly creative — that’s our motto.”

Located in Whitehorse, the YBIC focuses on the Yukon area of the Beringia land mass that connected Alaska and the Yukon with Siberia during the last ice age. Metrographics’ ice age mural (and other exhibitry) will be unveiled as part of the Centre’s reopening in the spring of 2023. Watch for more spoilers, or learn about new creative projects by visiting Metro’s website and following them on Instagram.

Founded in 1981, Metrographics (Metro) is a vibrant combination of artistic vision and design savvy. Operating in Calgary out of the innovative cSPACE arts hub, Metro is a full service design and production studio specializing in all aspects of graphic design, public art and interpretive design.

Have a photo or artwork to share? From features to podcasts, The Storytelling Project raises awareness about Calgarians who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, effecting positive change and enriching others’ lives. Tag your Instagram photos with #yycLCL for a chance to be featured in our Photo of the Month series.