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Resdiscovered Art Projects: Leeside Tunnel, Spencer Murals

May 9, 2013

One of those coincidences that occasionally occurs in my Inbox: two items that resurrect forgotten art.

The first from Jason Vanderhill: the Spencer Murals.  Jason has been trying to track down the forgotten murals ever since he started to document the story here.

 …  a forgotten art project that dates back to the time of Canada’s 60th birthday celebration of Confederation, July of 1927.  The location: the newly renovated David Spencer department store in Vancouver (now the home of SFU Harbour Centre). The commission: a series of 10 historical paintings by two prominent artists of the day, John Innes and G.H. Southwell.

What has become of these murals today?


Simon Fraser’s Canoes Descending the Fraser River by John Innes & G.H. Southwell [unrestored]

Jason’s detective story update is here.

From City Hall comes an email from Scot Hein, the City’s urban designer, who had told me about a project connected with the Leeside Tunnel, popular with skateboarders.  (Map here.)


Here is my quick sketch, prepared in 2006 at the Parks Board’s request, for after-hours security gates at each end of a skate board park/tunnel that the late Lee Matasi had built with friends under East Hastings near the PNE.   We would use his original skateboards (from his mom) as templates, enlarge and then have a commemorative tagging event on site with his family and friends to honor his life.

Leeside tunnel 1


Note the title: “Gates of Skaters Paradise.”

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