With the opening of the Canada Line on August 17, Richmond will gain a new accessibility to Vancouver (and vice versa) – a chance to discover not just the culinary opportunities along No. 3 Road but some of the new development in this burgeoning urban centre.

richmond city centre

For those who think Richmond is one big strip mall in search of a city, they’ll be surprised.  Already the blocks between the Lansdowne station and the Olympic Oval have a very urban feel, deliberately designed in the Vancouver Style.

Richmond urban

And that includes a lot of new public art.  Here’a sample: Jill Anholt’s Sky River.

Sky River 1

This work at the Flo condominiums at Elmbridge and Alderbridge is meant to evoke “the form and ephemeral qualities of the Fraser River including its interaction with light and colour, and its flowing organic form.”

Sky River 2

[For more on Jill’s work in Vancouver (Scopes of Site) and a tour of public art around False Creek and Coal Harbour, go to Price Tags 77.]

Richmond obviously likes the relationship of sky and water in its art, since that’s also the theme at the Olympic Oval.  Here’s the Water Sky Garden:

Net

A bridge inspired by the Chinese Dragon Dance meanders through shallow ponds on the eastern side of the Oval in Water Sky Gardens, one of the most ambitious public art projects in Richmond’s history.

The water gardens are the home of two elevated large net sculptures – ephemeral lanterns – 18 metres in diameter and 21 metres tall. The lanterns evoke the spirit of the area’s fishing culture as their diaphanous nets change shape in the wind.

For more on public art at the Oval, go here

And for a full description of public art in Richmond, go to the Richmond public art program.  Here’s a selection of the sites just within walking distance of the Canada Line stations:

public_art_image_map_A23443