• Lucas Seaward, Sky Explorer, © Lucas Seaward
  • David Robinson, Daedalist, © David Robinson
  • Amy Keller-Rempp, Sky Dance Series - Landing on the Snye, © Amy Keller-Rempp
  • Amy Keller-Rempp, Sky Dance Series - Spirit of Wood Buffalo, © Amy Keller-Rempp
  • Jane Ash Poitras, Utopia Series, © Jane Ash Poitras
  • Jane Ash Poitras, Utopia Series, © Jane Ash Poitras
  • Lucas Seaward, Lasting Impression, © Lucas Seaward
  • Liz Ingram, Water Ways, Sensing Connection, © Liz Ingram

YMM’s bold and iconic art program gives passengers a strong sense of place and connects them to the passion and energy of Fort McMurray. 

Selected artists in Fort McMurray and Western Canada have been commissioned to create public art pieces to enrich and elevate the airport experience for passengers.


Water Ways, Sensing Connections

Liz Ingram, 2014

Photographic collage, printed on adhesive vinyl, applied to glass

Water has always been a central feature of life in Fort McMurray. The city was settled along rivers: the name of one of the city’s oldest established neighbourhoods, Waterways, bears witness to this history. Today, careful water use is essential for the technological development of local industries and for sustainable living in this growing northern city.

This photographic installation emphasizes the sensory experience of water. The piece focuses on the beauty of human hands touching and feeling water, of the riverbed, and of water in motion. The artist’s digital photographs were edited into a collage using Photoshop software. These photographs feature the two main rivers in Fort McMurray, the Athabasca and the Hangingstone. The piece also includes hands representing the diversity of the people of our northern community.

This piece was commissioned by the Fort McMurray Airport Authority.

Artwork Location
This piece is located at the north end of the post-security passenger lounge and is incorporated into the glass wall.


Daedalist

David Robinson, 2014

Sculpture composed of Sitka Spruce, Baltic Birch, resin composite, and bronze

The word “daedalist” is an archaic name for a pilot or aviator. The term comes from the Greek myth of Daedalus, a skilled artisan who constructed wings to allow himself to take flight.

Daedalist examines the theme of human aviation as a visionary undertaking of human ingenuity and purpose. The taut lines of this piloted craft are laid bare to the eye and to the imagination. In flight between the point of departure and the threshold of arrival, this work of art invites the traveller to marvel at all that is held aloft in our ancient dreams of flight.

Robinson’s sculptures undergo a multi-stage process. The figures and formed patterns are first sculpted out of clay and wax, from which rubber moulds are made. These moulds are then used to cast the final elements in composite-resin and bronze. The wood elements were formed using a combination of digital and traditional methods of joinery, from computer numerical control (CNC) cutting of the Baltic-Birch plywood, to the steam-bending of old-growth Sitka Spruce.

This piece was commissioned by the Fort McMurray Airport Authority.

Artwork Location
This piece is suspended above the first floor arrivals hall.


Lasting Impression

Lucas Seaward, 2014

Bitumen on canvas

Lasting Impression uses over twenty pictograms to reflect the many elements and interactivities that have helped to define the Fort McMurray region over the past two hundred years. From float planes to fly fishing, from locomotives to lone wolves,
this piece displays the diverse natural beauty and human activity in our municipality.

Designed in the shape of a human footprint, the piece represents the past and present individuals who have called Fort McMurray home, and symbolizes local industries’ commitment to sustainability. The image signifies the airport’s impact and influence on the lives of those within our region, and demonstrates the airport’s desire to make a lasting, positive impression in the community.

Seaward’s artwork is painted using bitumen, the tar-like, viscous material that is extracted from oil sands and processed into petroleum products.

This piece was commissioned by the Fort McMurray Airport Authority.

Artwork Location
This piece is located in the first floor arrivals hall.


Sky Explorer

Lucas Seaward, 2014

Bitumen on canvas

Sky Explorer is a tribute to Fort McMurray’s aviation history. It depicts a float plane taking off from the Snye River, a base of float plane operations since the early 1920s. This painting pays homage to early aviation pioneers who plunged propeller-first into the wild, uncharted, and challenging terrain of Canada’s northern regions.

The swooshing strokes symbolize the meeting place of the curving Athasbasca and Clearwater rivers, which have played a vital role for local trading and growth since the area was settled. Subtly nestled within the piece are images which reflect aspects of northern life, including isolation, vast boreal forests, abundant wildlife, connection to nature, and human ingenuity.

Seaward’s artwork is painted using bitumen, the tar-like, viscous material that is extracted from oil sands and processed into petroleum products.

This piece was commissioned by the Fort McMurray Airport Authority.

Artwork Location
This piece is located in the Airport Authority's boardroom.


Sky Dance Series

Amy Keller-Rempp, 2014

Airbrushed metal art

These paintings depict several features of life in Fort McMurray, including the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), aviation, wildlife, and the Snye River, which has been a longstanding gateway to the community.

Landing on the Snye
A float plane lands on the quiet waters of the Snye River at dusk. The eagle, one of the largest birds capable of taking flight, is shown as the ruler of the skies. When combined with the Northern Lights, this image represents a magical, spiritual, and timeless symbol of aviation. For many years, float planes landing on the Snye River provided the main access to Fort McMurray.

Spirit of Wood Buffalo
Two majestic wood buffalo stand within a northern boreal forest. An eagle soars overhead in front of a stylized depiction of the Fort McMurray International Airport logo merged within the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). The wood buffalo, namesake of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, symbolizes abundance, strength, and stability. This piece is intended to evoke a sense of freedom and prosperity.

These paintings were produced by combining metal grinding with automotive airbrushing on aluminum panels. The artist began by grinding the picture into the metal panel, then airbrushing, applying clear coating, sanding, and polishing the piece to transform the metal into a glass-like mural.

These pieces were commissioned by the Fort McMurray Airport Authority.

Artwork Location
These pieces are located in the third floor observation area.


Utopia Series

Jane Ash Poitras, 2015

Mixed media on canvas on cedar stretcher

“A tribute to my Indigenous Peoples, especially my Mikisew Cree First Nation at Fort Chipewyan.”

These two works, entitled Homeland Utopia and Northern Utopia, belong to the artist’s Utopia series: a series of large paintings expressing the euphoria she experienced while awaiting the birth of her first child. The artist’s work combines an awareness of contemporary trends in Western art with insight into aboriginal history and culture. The rich colors of the landscapes revealed in the work also reflect the intensity of the artist’s dream-like expectations of her child’s birth.

These pieces were generously gifted by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

Artwork Location
These pieces are located in the third floor observation area.