9 Figures in Motion

9 Figures in Motion  Public art piece at Rogers Place

9 Figures in Motion
Public art piece at Rogers Place


9 Figures in Motion - Rogers Place
We were approached by Al Henderson in early 2016 to create this whimsically detailed interior public art piece for the new Edmonton Oilers home at the Rogers Place in Edmonton. Al was one of 4 chosen to produce public art for the project through the Edmonton public art program. 


Project Overview
Al Henderson recognized that he needed a design and fabrication firm with the very rare ability to speak the language of both an artist and engineer. We jumped at the chance to work with such an experienced and talented artist on a high profile figurative art piece. This sculpture checked all of the boxes of what we love about public art. It’s thought provoking, dynamic and challenging. He really captured the energy often found in these spaces through the dramatic gestures of the figures and the erratic mural.

Al created the 3D forms in the digital world by using zBrush rather than the traditional and time consuming clay build up approach. Our design team then took his models and dissected them into components that could be tool pathed and cut on our 4 axis CNC router.

We used these forms to develop a full detailed design package down to every nut and bolt. During this process we maintained close communication with the artist, structural engineer, and the Edmonton Art Council to ensure the build approach, maintenance, and material choice meets or exceeds the requirements of all stakeholders. The Rogers Place is a LEED building with strict guidelines for green materials that we had no problem adhering to.

Creative Exploration, Design, Manufacturing and Production, Project Management, and Installation

We used a combination of 3 and 4 axis CNC milling to cut the components to high accuracy which meant there was almost no handwork required after the milling process.

Once parts were assembled and dry fit to each other we incorporated our engineered steel framework to provide structure and our mounting locations. Components were then hard coated with a fire rated urethane spray on coating. This give us a ridged surface to further hand body work smooth and add extra detailing. Many painstaking hours were spent filling, high build priming, and sanding to a gallery quality finish prior to a final coat of black paint and satin clear.

Painting complex shapes such as these figures takes a strategic mind, special care and attention to avoid problematic overspray. The skill of our coatings team is unparalleled.

The installation wall had structural blocking installed prior to our arrival to our specifications. We used a high resolution video projector to cast the layout of the figures and the mural which was to be painted on site. This allowed us to very accurately duplicate ever one of Al’s brush strokes and place the figures perfectly in place. Public art is often the last to be installed on large scale builds such as the Rogers Place build. This project was given a very small window for the installation to be completed with several other trades on site working hard to complete on time. We far exceeded the requirements on the site led by PCL for safety and process.

Project Complete
The final result of all of the stakeholders hard work is a beautiful and engaging public art piece. The artist, Edmonton Art Council, and PCL were all thrilled with the professionalism of our team's attention to detail on all fronts and the quality of the final piece. The artwork has been extremely well received by the public and media alike.

Related Links
Henderson Sculpture - 9 Figures in Motion with a Puck
Rogers Place - We Eat, We Sleep, We Make Art