Ashi Ato: Winner of the 4th Annual Public Art Competition

Emily Carr University of Art and Design student Shayla Giroux is the winner of the 4th Annual Public Art Competition for Powell Street Festival Society. Giroux is joined by fellow student and collaborator Zenyase Hunsberger for the development and production stages. The team has been awarded a $1000 prize, a production budget, and mentorship from Revery Architecture and Abaton Projects.


Giroux and Hunsberger say, “It is an absolute honour to be creating this year’s public art piece. We hope to engage the community and create a memorable experience for the festival.”

Giroux and Hunsberger will be constructing a set inspired by Japanese Calligraphy, “Shodo”. This set includes giant fudes (Japanese calligraphy brushes) made of traditional materials such as bamboo and horse hair, and a large Hanshi (platform to create on). Titled Ashi Ato, the interactive installation invites festival goers to leave a mark, which is what the art installation is aiming to do at this year’s festival. Ashi Ato is a performative interactive art piece that participants can use one at a time to create a serene and encapsulating experience. The platform is fast drying material that changes color when wet, festival goers will use water instead of ink to paint. The image or words created will fade and another participant will be able to create a mark.

The Design Competition for Powell Street Festival is a partnership between PSFS, Revery Architecture and Abaton Projects and is financially supported by Hapa Collaborative, PFS Studio and Revery Architecture, as well as several private donors. The jury included Brenda Crabtree, Director of Aboriginal Programs at Emily Carr University of Art and Design; Leanne Dunic, Artistic Director of Powell Street Festival; Shinobu Homma, Technical Principal of Revery Architecture; and Gary Smith, Art Fabricator of Abaton Projects.

The design is now in development and will be unveiled at the Opening Ceremony of the 43rd annual Powell Street Festival in Oppenheimer Park at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 3, 2019. Follow @powellstfest on social media and posts tagged #powellstfest #ashiato to see the production process.