Talking fence
A participatory public art installation to engage people around the the construction site of the new Halifax Public Library on Spring Garden Rd. The Library will be a gathering place for learning, conversation and sharing stories – so, why wait until the building is open?


Purpose //

Halifax Public Libraries wanted to engage the public in a playful manner, sparking ideas and reflection about learning.


The Concept //

Design, create and install 18 chalkboards, working with youth volunteers. The phrase, “In my life I’ve learned ____________.” was stenciled on many times to inspire people with a moment of contemplation, inspiration and sharing.  One panel has an artistic rendering of a poem of the same title written by Tanya Davis, HRM’s Poet Laureate.
Animating the fences of the Library construction site, this installation helped bring awareness to what is being built and invited conversation and curiosity around the changing face of our city. This project was inspired by Candy Chang’s chalkboard project called ‘Before I Die”.


“The new library is truly a public space,” says Terri Fraser, Fund Development Manager for the Halifax Public Libraries, “so we plan to keep creating ways for all citizens to feel their ownership.  It’s about the celebration of language, culture, and learning, and this project is a perfect fit…and inspirational!”


The Results //

Every day the chalkboards would fill up with over 200 comments.
Over the 2 months the project was up over 6000 people participated.