23 COMMUNITY TABLE, 2012
JORDAN TOMNUK (EDMONTON)
Community is at the heart of this public art installation. “Community Table,” provides a meeting place for the people who live in the YMCA Welcome Village, use the Boyle Street Community League facilities, or simply enjoy watching the seasons pass in the Plaza’s grounds. The work reflects the ongoing animation and revitalization in Boyle Street and the Quarters. Boyle Street represents Edmonton’s culturally diverse past and future and aspires to be a destination for people living outside the area.
Made from Cumaru (Brazilian Teak) wood and powder-coated welded steel, Community Table provides an alternative to the alienating 4-person picnic table, says Tomnuk. “My design has a continuous feature that places occupants face to face and side to side. I have also played with the idea of seating by creating a transitioning feature that moves from a standard table height that seats 24 people comfortably, to a bar height table with two sizes of seating – couples and families – that sit 16 people, and finally a standing section within the piece, one that allows you to converse or read a book with the option of standing.”
Tomnuk’s designs, which incorporate simple, minimalist lines, emphasize practicality and durability as much as beauty. The 22-metre-long table can seat up to 55 adults in a configuration that is sculptural and elegant. However, the materials were chosen for their ability to withstand Edmonton’s changeable weather. Tomnuk expects the table could last for up to 100 years and that normal wear and tear will just add a patina that tells the story of the community and the people in it.
In the end, Community Table is not just a place to sit, but also a “…new visually exciting and experiential piece that promotes togetherness at a new public level; one that is best suited to a rejuvenated community such as this.”
Collection: City of Edmonton Public Art Collection
Source: Edmonton Arts Council
Photo Credit: Edmonton Arts Council