#yycLCL January 2020

Cedar waxwings in process
#yycLCL Photo of the Month | Photo: Metrographics

#yycLCL January 2020

What do cedar waxwings, a golden eagle, prairie falcon, osprey, raven, and sandhill crane all have in common? They’re currently flying high in Metrographics’ studios, part of an overhead mobile of bird sculptures destined to take permanent roost in a brand-new interpretive space—still under construction.

The project is part of a larger collaboration with artists, sculptors, and biologists to educate Canadians (and visitors to Canada) about biodiversity in the mountain parks. Once completed, the display will comprise two massive, fully-sculpted bas relief walls featuring over 130 species of plants, animals, and invertebrates. Flora and fauna sculpted at actual sizes (in full colour with textural details) will bring to life a detailed mural environment connected by an aerial bird mobile.

The goal of the project? To develop a highly artistic, immersive, and hands-on learning experience that inspires a love for Canada’s wilder spaces.

“It’s an immense privilege,” says Metro’s Creative Director and Lead Artist Doug Driediger, “to partner with legacy institutions like Parks Canada to promote culture and conservation through quality, ethical design.”

A side-by-side comparison of osprey and golden eagle sculptures in progress
Osprey and golden eagle sculptures in progress | Photo: Metrographics

The biodiversity mural is one of many creative initiatives Metrographics currently has underway for the National Parks system, including other interpretive works in progress for Banff, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes, and Grasslands National Parks, as well as the Saoyú-ʔehdacho National Historic Site in the Northwest Territories.

“The distinctiveness of our studios,” Driediger explains, “comes from a seamless blend of graphic design and fine art. A lot of our work involves incorporating traditional illustration into a digital workflow.

However, that’s not where the creativity stops. On any given day, you might also find the Metro team busy collaborating on sculptures, painting floor-to-ceiling murals, or even hand-decorating 3D topographical models for various Parks places. There’s no project too complex. Our team is fearless, innovative, and wildly creative—that’s our motto.”

The bird mobile and bas relief artwork are expected to be unveiled (at a location currently unable to be disclosed) in the summer of 2021.

Founded in 1981, Metrographics (Metro) is a vibrant combination of artistic vision and communications savvy.

Operating in Calgary out of the innovative cSPACE King Edward arts hub, Metro is a full-service design and production studio specializing in all aspects of advertising media, public art, and interpretive design.

Watch for more spoilers, or learn about new, creative projects by following Metro online on Instagram and Facebook or visit metrodesigngroup.com.

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