Jill Anholt

Emergent, 2017

Located at: The Edison, 150 - 9th Avenue Plaza, Calgary AB


Jill Anholt is a visual artist who lives and works in Vancouver, B.C. She has been creating site specific works in the public realm since 1998. She received a BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 1992 and a Masters of Architecture from the University of British Columbia in 1992.  Along with her art practice, Jill is an instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver.    

Emergent takes inspiration from the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway, borrowing elements of blackened rails and wooden ties to create both a place-making sculpture and a welcoming seating area, lit with the classic CPR red. The work serves as a reminder of the layers of the past, as is evident in the design of the seating – shapes speaking to the first discovery of the natural gas in Alberta by the CPR, and in the angling of the vertical sculptural elements, reflecting the city’s iconic Calgary Tower. Through the use of contemporary materials, Emergent presents a play between the past and present, activating the plaza on one of Calgary’s most historic and prominent streets.


Jill Anholt’s installations explore the relationship between nature and infrastructure, body and place; revealing layers of personal and cultural memory and experience. Environmental sustainability plays a generative role in the conceptual development, form and material expression of many of her works. Anholt’s practice ranges from complex integrated works in parks, pedestrian walkways and transit stations to small scale installations in buildings and public plazas across North America. A few examples are as follows.  For the city of Calgary, her studio has produced TransitStory (2012) that showcases 30 sculptures of people - fabricated from steel, carefully sandblasted and artfully painted – strategically installed along the transit platform. Her sculpture titled Moving Surfaces (2014) was installed at Landsdowne Park in Ottawa; Lightshowers (2011) was installed at the Waterfront region in Toronto; and LocusMotion (2001) was installed at the Brentwood Sky Train Station, Burnaby.