The streets of downtown Vancouver are filled with diverse and moving artwork if you know where to look. Seek out these wonderful public art pieces to discover the cultural voices that help shape our city.
Mosaic Art Tiles
The location: Sidewalks throughout downtown Vancouver
The artist: Various
Look to your feet while you’re walking downtown and you might see one of these 18 mosaic tiles created in partnership with the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. Each mosaic reflects a different theme that captures the spirit of downtown Vancouver.
The location: West Georgia between Thurlow and Bute
The artist: Varies, currently Robert Youds
This dynamic installation is the Vancouver Art Gallery’s outdoor exhibition space that changes every six months. Come see how each artist uses the space in different ways to change the feel of our city streets.
The location: 901 West Hastings St.
The artist: Daniel Laskarin
Visit the park throughway bedside the Vancouver Club and you’ll find four circular platforms, each with a park bench and tree in a steel planter. Each platform rotates at a different speed to represent a 40-hour work week, 8-hour work day, 1-hour lunch break and 20 minute coffee break.
WRAP - http://www.wrapproject.ca
The location: Along Granville St. from West Cordova to Drake
The artist: Emily Carr illustration program students
The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association worked with the Emily Carr School of Art & Design to turn each electrical box on Granville St. into a work of art. Twelve students from the Emily Carr illustration program created unique designs to celebrate the fluid and funky nature of Granville St.
The location: Harbour Green Park
The artist: Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei, celebrated Chinese artist and social activist, created this remarkable sculpture with 1328 tufts of iron grass. You can interpret the elaborate calligraphic “F” in many different ways, but at its core it represents people’s resilience and strength in the face of oppression and censorship.
The location: Intersection of West Cordova St. and Thurlow St.
The artist: Pavlos Angelos Kougiomtzis
This majestic sculpture was a gift from Georgios Aidonis, mayor of the ancient city of Olympia, in honour of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, stands tall out of the busy intersection just a few steps away from the Olympic cauldron.
Public Service/Private Step
The location: 401 Burrard St.
The artist: Alan Storey
A series of steel columns mirror the inner workings of the nearby Environment Canada and Oceans & Fisheries Building. The five boxes travel up and down in coordination with the five elevator cars inside the building, while an LED matrix reveals the movement of people inside the elevators.
The location: Vancouver Convention Centre
The artist: inges idee (Hans Hemmert, Axel Lieber, Thomas Schmidt, and Georg Zey)
This enormous raindrop is frozen at the exact moment it contacts the earth. Parallel to the Burrard Inlet, this piece reflects on the importance of our waterfront and speaks to the natural forces of weather and water that we encounter so often in our city.
The Words Don’t Fit the Picture
The location: 350 West Georgia St.
The artist: Ron Terada
This large, three-dimensional sign decorates the front of the Vancouver Public Library’s main branch, where 1,280 LED lights spell out text and change colour. Grand and iconic, it reminds us of Vancouver’s legacy of neon signage and teaches us that words have unlimited imaginative power.
The Fathomless Richness of the Seabed
The location: Front lobby of the Guiness Tower at 1055 West Hastings St.
The artist: Jordi Bonet
This abstract blue and gold ceramic wall is inspired by the bottom of the ocean. Each textural, colourful component was crafted to reflect the relationship between the building and the space around it.
Fountain of the Pioneers
The location: 500 Burrard St.
The artist: George Tsutakawa
Walk by the front entrance of the Bentall Building to see an abstract bronze fountain rising out of a long rectangular pool. This sculpture seeks to join the elusive, cyclical nature of water and the static, forceful nature of metal.