ALBERTA

Edmonton's Light The Bridge Project Stirs Debate Over What Is Art

01/27/2014 06:06 EST | Updated 01/27/2014 06:59 EST

A project designed to light up Edmonton's iconic High Level Bridge has left citizens entangled in a debate over the city's priorities and what constitutes art.

The debate was sparked by an opinion piece in the Edmonton Journal, where arts writer Fish Griwkowsky argues the $3 million "Technicolor dream," isn't art at all.

"Hilariously enough, in a city where people spray coffee out their mouths if asked to consider street art as 'art,' Light the Bridge is closer to a behemoth act of indelible, enforced graffiti," Griwkowsky writes.

He argues coloured lights to illuminate structures is a cliched move, played out around the world, and any modifications to the bridge suggest it needs to be "fixed" in some way.

Some argued the project fosters a sense of community, while others are concerned about potential light pollution and other ailments the city needs to fix first.

The city also has the support of its mayor:

Donations to the project have included a couple who donated 65 bulbs on their 65th wedding anniversary, and one dedicated to a woman who lived in Edmonton in 1912 and watched the bridge being built.

Fueled by corporate and small donations, the project doesn't use government funding. Those who donate can find out where their bulb is located, once it is built.

Click through the slideshow below to see what other Edmontonians had to say about the project:

Reaction To Edmonton's Light the Bridge Project