Vancouverís Coolest Public Art: The Birds at the Olympic Village
Photo: Tuija Seipell
Vancouver is still basking in the afterglow of the 2010 Winter Olympics and one of the best remnants of the Games is the public art that now decorates the cityís parks and buildings. For the next few weeks, Jaunted's Vancouver Embed Tuija Seipell of The Cool Hunter will be reporting on the best of the bunch.
There is no avoiding public art in Vancouver these days, especially in the downtown core and in neighborhoods within walking distance from it. New and prominent installations seem to be everywhere. In addition, the art we have accumulated recently appears to be particularly engaging and fun, as I have never seen as many people taking pictures of public art as I have this summer. People pose among the art, mimic the poses of the sculptures, climb them (although in most cases one probably shouldnít) and give them fun names.
With the Cityís Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program, the new Convention Centreís art program, the Vancouver International Sculpture Biennale, plus the many new buildings all presenting public art, itís been a tough task to choose eight key pieces for this series of Vancouverís Coolest Public Art, but Iíll start at the Olympic Village, which is now open to the public, and its sculpture "The Birds."
Photo: Tuija Seipell
Myfanwy MacLeodís The Birds was installed after the Olympics at the Southeast False Creek Olympic Plaza in the Olympic Village. It is part of the Cityís Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program. On first glance, the two massive yet friendly-looking sparrowsómale and femaleóreminded me of the bird that Flick and the Blueberries build to scare off the Hoppers in A Bugs Life.
Just like Flickís bird, these 18 feet-tall (5.5 metres) birds have a somewhat sinister side to them, too. By turning the scale of humans and birds upside down, the Vancouver-based artist points to issues than can arise when a non-native species is introduced to an environment.
Photo: Ted Topping
Next to The Birds, check out the red Salt Building, a restored 1930s salt refinery that was the social hub of the Olympic athletes at the Village. It will house a pub, a coffee shop and a bakery when more of the estimated 16,000 permanent residents settle into this new community.
Have you spotted any other cool outdoor art in Vancouver or other cities that you think deserves to be featured? Let us know in the comments!