Distinctive, yet so ordinary as to be nearly invisible to passers-by.
Check the ingredients list: bike button, boulevard tree, mural on utility box (guy in a tie with pocket pens, and coffee steam entering his ear, kid in a tie bouncing high on spring feet, dude surfing in a tie with laptop & earbuds, sushi server, badminton player and birds, seagulls, happy airborne shopper), sidewalk, grassy boulevard.
It’s the latest piece of public art in downtown Vancouver, just installed in the entrance lobby of SFU Harbour Centre:
The backdrop will eventually reveal a more suitable setting, I presume, but this is already a powerful piece – a welcome figure by Musqueam artist Brent Sparrow:
You are being welcomed by one of the “noble, influential, and wealthy members of the community” wearing a nobility blanket, symbolizing “the wealth, power, and prestige of the wearer.”
This is a theme I have seen before, notably at McArthur Glen, the faux shopping village near the entrance to YVR. On the northern edge of the complex is a seating area surrounded by plaques that acknowledge and explain the Musqueam history and presence on this territory.
“We are wealthy, high class people and have always been on this land.”
The current wealth and satisfaction of the people of Vancouver is not just a post-settler phenomenon; it’s a reflection of the fortune and circumstance of its abundance and location, going back to post-glaciation – and explains why so many people desire to have a piece of it or make it their home.
The Musqueam culture reflected that abundance in its economy, identity and art.
Taken this Sunday aboard the Elision.
From left to right: Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, downtown, Burrard Bridge, Mount Baker, Vanier Park.
Just off Commercial Drive near Venables on Parker Street.
Daily Hive image
In the “cool things to do for kids of all ages” department The Daily Hive reports on a very innovative light installation at Science World. Every weekend throughout August you will find a sphere like model of the Science World dome next to Olympic Village’s Tap and Barrel. By touching the model dome you can create colours and patterns on the actual Science World dome. Called “OH!” the public will be able to interact with the installation every Friday and Saturday through August.
Alex Beim of Tangible Interaction, the company that designed the installation says “What I really want is for people to be present in the moment, and feel connected to the city and people around the installation. The goal was to create a space for social interaction and we feel that OH! does just this.”
OH! Science World Public Light Control 2017
When: 9 pm to 11 pm during the following dates:
Friday, August 4 to Sunday, August 6 (Pride Weekend)
Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12
Friday, August 18 and Saturday, August 19
Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26
Where: False Creek seawall at the Olympic Village, next to Tap and Barrel (1 Athletes Way, Vancouver)
Post Industry meets Art along the south shore of False Creek
A very special project in Chinatown has been attracting attention from locals and tourists alike. The CBC has written about the Chinatown History Windows which were designed to animate the vacant storefronts in the area. The large photos are historically accurate and often have been “stylized and recoloured ” to capture imaginations.
There is a heady legacy of what Chinese Canadians have done for Canada. In 1867 seventy per cent of the population of British Columbia was First Nations, with 4,000 Americans, 4,000 from Europe, Great Britain or Australia, and 4,000 Chinese. These early Chinese immigrants took on the arduous and at times deadly work of building the railway across Canada. From those beginnings Chinese-Canadians have faced discrimination, from a head tax to come to Canada, to not being allowed to vote until 1947. It was not until 1951 that all of the exclusionary laws were repealed.
The photos and the project has been curated by Catherine Clement who notes “These stories, they matter. They set context. They enrich us when we understand where we come from, and what has happened .”
In animating the windows, Catherine Clement has brought parts of a forgotten Chinatown community alive. Adjacent to the Chinese Cultural Centre a window documents Yucho Chow a photographer that photographed Chinatown’s citizens for four decades. The photos are fascinating, in that they show facets of everyday life in a part of the city that is often forgotten as being one of the oldest and most historical.
The CBC radio interview featuring Catherine Clement can be heard by following this link.
It’s at Charles Dickens Elementary school (17th and Windsor), and does not portray the English writer. It does portray a rocket ship, lightning bolt, a yin-yang Venus balloon, and a dancing cactus. It extolls “Imagination”, and lives near a white lilac bush.
Vancouver’s West End is filled with beautiful old buildings, like the Queen Charlotte at 1101 Nicola.
Thanks to the Vancouver Archives for original photos taken in 1928 by Major Matthews.
The Queen Charlotte Apartments building was built in 1927 by the Dominion Construction Company (thanks to Memory BC). It was renovated in 1979 by Robert Ledingham and now contains 25 strata condos. A Heritage House Tour in 2015 brought the Courier’s Naoibh O’Connor and photog Dan Toulgoet to the Queen Charlotte. The quotes from occasional PT contributor Michael Kluckner are well worth finding in the Courier article.
Vancouver photog Greg Girard has a show at the Monte Clark Gallery, featuring pix from a strange era in Vancouver: somehow lost between “dump the freeways” and Expo 86, but still “. . . a port town at the end of the railway line”.
When I started making these photographs, especially the pictures of people in the mid-1970s, I felt like I was photographing a world nobody knew anything about, apart from the people living it, of course. I was something of an interloper, but my youth protected me. It’s curious to consider these pictures now, practically unseen since they were made, in terms of a Vancouver they might have some potential to invent. –Greg Girard
I’m heading over there (*gasp*: east of Main) in the hopes of expanding my ideas about photographs and about Vancouver’s heritage.
The show ends May 27. More info HERE.
And Spring mush.
A Price Tags regular, in water colours – and more.
The images are here.
If you google “west end condominium with a tree on top” you will find this condopedia page that describes the building at 1919 Beach Avenue as “easily recognized by the 37 foot Pin Oak tree on its rooftop, rooted into a special circular cauldron specifically designed for it. Architect Richard Henriquez, of Henriquez & Partners, chose to design Eugenia Place to pay homage to the rich history of the West End of Vancouver’s downtown.” Built in 1991, Eugenia Place won the Governor General’s award for architecture and its overall height including the oak tree perched at its top was meant to” symbolize and represent how tall the old growth forest was before it was logged and cleared for development.”
Via Adele Weder, this CBC report says the iconic tree, a landmark and so notable to walkers along the shore has died, following the dry 2015 summer. Landscape architect Ron Rule who was also the original landscape architect for the tree installation stated “There was some water restrictions and it went three months without water.” Ron also mentioned an upside, stating that the bowl the tree and soil sit in requires waterproofing meaning that 130,000 pounds of soil needs to be removed, a membrane replaced, and a new pin oak raised 19 storeys by crane. The total cost is estimated at $554,000.
When the Eugenia originally got its building permit, the permit was contingent on having the rooftop tree, which means that the condo owners will be responsible for paying approximately $35,000 each for the new tree to be replaced. The new pin oak will be planted in the fall , the best time to replace the iconic landmark. “This tree represents the top of the rain forest, or what the Douglas fir or cedar trees would ultimately reach in height,” Ron Rule stated.
From Nuvo Magazine, Vancouver will have a very special visitor this summer to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday-an original sculpture by Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí called “Dance of Time 1”. This installation will be situated close to the waterfront and is a two meter high bronze sculpture of his signature melting stopwatch.
“The $750,000 sculpture, on loan from Swiss non-profit art organization the Stratton Institute, has been gifted to the city by Vancouver’s Chali-Rosso Art Gallery in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.”The large-scale piece is the last addition to the private gallery’s Definitely Dalí project: a collection of 100 artworks including smaller sculptures, watercolour paintings, and drawings by the surrealist artist, on display at the Chali-Rosso Gallery.”
Dali was noted for being extremely eccentric in appearance, sporadic in behaviour and the absolutely best publicist for himself. He famously said””It is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself.”
I found out what that meant on an Air France flight from Tenerife to Lyon decades ago when the plane was held while Salvador Dali tried to board with his entourage of young women dressed in diaphanous dresses.The flight attendants did not want him taking his personal two meter long walking staff aboard. Dali, who was quite short with a very big waxed moustache, was not getting on the plane without it. He also carried two bouquet of orchids. Like his work, his life was a performance.
The Dali installation at West Hastings and Hornby will be here from May 6 to September 2017.
Walking near Nelson and Howe (808 Nelson St., Nelson Square) and discovered this fun showing. Dozens of reproductions of a comic strip character called Tian Tian, in various sizes, altered by artists.
Tian Tian is the creation of Hong Kong’s Danny Yung. The exhibit is one of those things that makes a city a stimulating place, when serendipity meets cross-cultural fun.
Click any image to see a large version slideshow of them all.
The Blank Boy Canvas collaboration has been brought to North America in an exhibit designed to stimulate conversation about creative reasoning and the individual approach to creative execution. The three-dimensional, nearly 2 ft. casting has been given to selected artists to freely express, create or alter while exploring the theme of infinite possibilities. This cross-cultural collaboration transcends language and denomination. Explore each artist’s creation, and learn more about them!
One of the loveliest and liveliest family-friendly events of the year. A mass ride through Vancouver streets burgeoning with blossoms. Bike the Blossoms, my fave event of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. With thanks to Velopalooza.
FREE Event – Saturday April 29, 2017
South side of John Hendry Park (Trout Lake), 3300 Victoria Drive (@ E 19th Ave., close to Lakewood Dr.)
Be sure to get there early to sign the waiver, unless you do it online.
The Capture Photo Festival has two events that focus on Vancouver’s look, and specifically caught my interest. There are plenty of other Vancouver-related photo events in the festival, if you’re interested.
At the Equinox Gallery, my photo hero Fred Herzog is showing some of his street pix from mostly early days, as published in the terrific new book “Modern Colour“. Mr. Herzog is among the few at the top of the game when it comes to colour pix, along with Eggleston, Shore and the other big doggies in this world. But most of Herzog’s work is from the streets of Vancouver. As such, his view shows a side of Vancouver’s heritage as almost a byproduct of the photos.
The New York Times lists this in the top ten photo books of 2016. Here’s a review from Kenneth Tanaka via Mike Johnston at The Online Photographer.
This exhibition around art deco architecture and design in Vancouver draws a parallel between the work of British Columbian photographer Simon Desrochers and its interpretation by Parisian illustrator Mathieu Persan.
The Lost Vancouver also raises questions about the place and the future of the arts, and their necessity in the development of Vancouver.