Thirty-two 1970’s era drilling rigs to be erected as public art in Edmonton

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Rendition of Edmonton's skyline after some of the ironworks art is installed.

CALGARY, Alberta – The recent explosion of public art in urban centers has inspired Derec’ Illion of Leduc, Alberta, to move a collection of historical drilling rigs out of his family’s pasture and erect them in several Edmonton neighbourhoods as public art displays.

Thirty-two of the vintage iron works were left in the storage field from the 1980’s era bust, and the rigs have sat in place since. While rusty and somewhat dangerous, Derec’ has taken steps with the City of Edmonton to ensure they will not pose a public threat or imminent danger to residents of the communities where they will be erected. The metal sculptures will be placed on concrete step stones tall enough to ensure no one climbs, touches, or skateboards along the exposed industrial wreckage.

Edmonton Mayor, Don Iverson

“We see a great piece of history being brought into focus with this project. No longer will Edmonton be the Black Sheep of Alberta. No longer will we be the city everyone loves to hate. NO longer will we be seen as a population of Unbertans who care very little for Alberta beyond our government and union contracts. We will prove with this project that we are an integral part of this province and its amazing fencing industry”. – Don Iverson, Edmonton City Mayor.

Many of the rigs will be erected as symbols of a time when oil and gas mattered in this province – now widely despised and degraded for its efforts to provide clean, responsibly produced and processed energy to citizens near and afar. These derricks will be assembled in the downtown area of Edmonton, as well as at several locations along pathways in the river valley and Old Strathcona.

A few of the rigs will be reconstructed in their entirety along the borders of the West Edmonton Mall parking structure, but will be painted with rainbows and strewn with multi-national flags to inspire diversity among those glancing upon them as they drive along the adjacent streets.

The project has earned Derec’ Illion a $25 Million dollar grant from the City of Edmonton, in partnership with the Garbage Restorations Foundation funded by the federal government.

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