community design illustration

These Dogs are Parkin’!

All photos in this post are courtesy of Brendan Klem Studio.

Curio spends the dog days of summer 2021 painting a vibrant urban dog park on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue

The artist (Rachel), nervous she will be outed as a cat person at any time.
Above: The artist, nervous she will be outed as a cat person at any time.

“Our team spent most of the last year sitting inside, staring at our screens, pausing only occasionally to look up symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome,” says Amanda Schutz, Artistic Director of Curio Studio. “We were really grateful to have our plates full of work, but like any Canadian kids, we really just wanted to spend all our time outside in the summer.”

So, when we got a request from the talented talent-sourcers at Park Production House to illustrate and paint an outdoor dog park and art installation, we were gnawing at our leashes to get outside and to get our hands and clothes covered in paint.

The pop-up park, dubbed SouthBARK on Whyte, features interactive play structures, picnic tables and benches, and Instagrammable photo ops aplenty, featuring the artwork of Curio’s own Rachel Beyer.

“I really wanted to paint, and I missed my teammates,” says Rachel, “So it’s possible I may have let myself get a little too excited. This is one of those super-rare, super-fun projects, so I immediately started coming up with a lot of different visual concepts on-the-fly.”

Working with Park Productions, those concepts were refined a number of times over a tight, three-week turnaround, then meticulously painted by Rachel and her team onto the park’s outdoor furniture.   

Above: Samples of early sketches, colour concepts, and refined artwork

On August 7 the park opened to the public, garnering some very lovely comments on social media. The park is free and accessible to the public every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

And if you can’t make it out to the park in-person, you can catch lots of great photos and get more information on the @southparkonwhyte instagram profile.

  • Scenes from the Curio-illustrated SouthBARK pop-up dog park

Many thanks to the good people of Park Productions and Southpark on Whyte for reminding us what the sun looks like!

This post was last updated on January 12, 2022 by Matt Steringa