SmartCentres bring Canada’s largest low-res LED public art installation

by | 17 August 2021 10:22 am

SmartCentres Vaughan, ONT.

SmartCentres Vaughan, ONT.

SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust has unveiled the PXL Gallery, 930-m2  (10,000-sf) low resolution LED permanent art installation in SmartVMC, its flagship 40.7-ha master-planned city centre in Vaughan. This modern art installation features rotating exhibits of curated moving artwork created by acclaimed digital artists.

The PXL Gallery adorns the façade of one of the SmartVMC residential towers, and is integrated into the area’s architecture and building design. It is a beacon for the area, overlooking the on-site SmartVMC regional bus terminal and the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre TTC subway station. The PXL Gallery is only one of many high-impact art installations that have debuted in Vaughan’s new city centre this summer.

“The PXL Gallery at SmartVMC introduces digital art, a progressive contemporary art form that is on the rise,” says Mitchell Goldhar, Executive Chairman, SmartCentres. “The PXL Gallery is a 10,000-sf LED canvas, integrated into the building’s design, at the nexus of three 55-storey residential towers, the TTC subway station and the new regional bus terminal. The PXL Gallery brings new meaning to hanging art on the wall.”

Digital art, an art form created by software, on a computer platform, has begun to gain global attention over the past decade, with unlimited opportunity for impact and practicality. The more technology evolves, the more digital art blossoms. The versatility of this technology as a medium marries well with the scale of SmartVMC’s PXL Gallery. Just as a traditional art gallery showcases featured artists, the PXL Gallery’s digital flexibility enables artists’ exhibits to rotate on-demand.

The PXL Gallery’s inaugural artwork was curated in collaboration with the City of Vaughan’s Senior Art Curator, Sharon Gaum-Kuchar. An open call for submissions invited artists to submit proposals of their vision. Acclaimed artists Jim Campbell, Rafaël Rozendaal and Rob King were awarded commissions, and their artwork will be the PXL Gallery’s first three rotational features.

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“Public art is an urban design mechanism that brings vibrancy to the forefront, and gives a personality to the city,” she says. “The PXL Gallery is theatrical and dynamic. It is not a static entity. The artist’s work is constantly morphing and evolving, and the resulting effect is a sense of transformation that really aligns with the vision for SmartVMC.”

Along with creating artwork for an upcoming PXL Gallery exhibit, San Francisco-based artist and digital pioneer, Jim Campbell, was instrumental in the design and development of the PXL Gallery. Known for his contemporary, low-resolution LED lightworks, Campbell worked alongside SmartCentres, Diamond Schmitt, Studio F Minus and Mulvey & Banani Lighting to investigate LED technology, glass, frit patterns and input standards while conducting substantial testing on the infrastructure supporting the gallery.

Silence, Rafaël Rozendaal: Based in New York, Rafaël Rozendaal is a Dutch-Brazilian artist who uses the internet as his canvas. Silence is a digital artwork consisting of three ambient moving images. The works are almost abstract, but a suggestion of space and movement hint at experiences of landscape and travel. With restrained, minimal elements of color and rhythm, a maximal experience is created of immersion and contemplation.

Jim Campbell’s work will debut this fall, followed by digital art by Rob King.

Best viewed after sundown, the PXL Gallery’s summer hours are daily between 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. It is located on the west side of Millway Avenue between Portage Parkway and Apple Mill Road in SmartVMC.

ArtWalk at SmartVMC

The launch of the PXL Gallery comes only weeks after the debut of ArtWalk, SmartVMC’s new art district. ArtWalk was launched with a collection of accessible and experiential activations, including 2787-m2 of Instagrammable art murals, painted by acclaimed artists, Ricardo Cavalo, birdO, Ben Johnston and Jeremy Shantz. The murals are the backdrop for ArtWalk’s daily food market and a series of free drive-in movies, running every Thursday and Saturday through to September 30th. For more information on the ArtWalk activations, including movie listings, showtimes and registration, visit:

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The current ArtWalk activations set the tone for the new district’s art-inspired mixed-use development, inclusive of Hariri Pontarini-designed condominiums, commercial, retail and coworking space, open greenspace, and public amenities. This development will overlook SmartVMC’s nine-acre central park, which is scheduled to break ground later this year.

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