Location: South-facing exterior wall of Chez Pierre’s Cabaret at 10040 – 105 St.
Under the watchful eyes of disapproving neighbours and barred from acquiring a liquor license, Pierre Cochard operated Edmonton’s first nude dancing club for more than 40 years. The 26-year-old title-winning Belgian boxer arrived in Edmonton in the 1950s with $5 in his pocket. The enterprising Cochard started Edmonton’s first chuckwagon lunch business and ran it for 17 years. In 1970 Cochard opened a disco, but business was limited to Fridays and Saturdays. Upon discovering a nude dancing club in Calgary was attracting patrons six days a week, the disco was re-conceived. Forty five years later, under the management of Cochard’s grandson, Chez Pierre received its first liquor license. To celebrate, the 89-year-old Cochard ordered a Stella Artois.
In an interview with Tracey Hyatt from Alberta Venture Magazine (2007), Cochard spoke about why he painted over the infamous mural of two bikini-clad women on the south facing wall of Chez Pierre. Cochard relayed how Mayor Bill Smith phoned him and asked when he was going to cover up the two girls. Mayor Smith suggested a landscape. Cochard replied, “that was not going to work because my building is a landmark. Everyone knows it. I can’t put up a landscape. So I asked a university student to paint a photo of me.”
Biography: Ian Mulder is a Canadian artist and intern architect who likes to make stuff. For a long time he produced large-scale monumental art and design projects, including murals and related community public projects. In time, this interest in public space and its potential for improvement through artistic intervention led to work in architecture and urbanism. Born in Ottawa in 1978, Ian has traveled, studied and produced work abroad, and gained experience that is deeply influential to his practice and understanding of the visual arts and their place in public space. Ian studied at the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta and Middle Eastern Technical University (Ankara, Turkey). Ian Mulder has a Masters in Architecture from the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto.
Sources: Mulder Studios ; Hyatt, T. (2007). The naked truth. Alberta Venture. October 1, 2007. Retrieved from http://albertaventure.com/2007/10/the-naked-truth/
Photo Credit: Ian Mulder