The Marpole Business Improvement Association (BIA) recently unveiled the latest flurry of public art projects that have been installed throughout the Marpole community over the past two weeks.
A new on-street mural, two Little Free Libraries, and an abacus shelter made up of rubber duckies saved from the landfill are the latest public art projects to appear in the heart of the Marpole neighborhood, in and around Granville St.
Leaves and Fishes On-Street Mural: West 67th Avenue at Granville Street
The new ‘Leaves and Fishes’ mural was designed by Briea Mainwaring and a group of Emily Carr University of Art + Design Illustration students as a class assignment. The design was chosen from four possibilities by a jury of Marpole BIA representatives and Emily Carr faculty. The on-street mural depicts flora and fauna native to the Marpole area, and is located at 67th and Granville. Another on-street mural, Fractal by Alejandro Quinteros, is installed at 66th and Granville. Both murals are sponsored by the City of Vancouver’s VIVA Vancouver program.
“VIVA Vancouver projects, such as the Marpole on-street mural, contribute positively to the overall vibrancy and street life in areas around Vancouver by promoting neighbourhood interaction and engaging businesses,” says Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
More than 15 Emily Carr student volunteers and staff worked to apply special non-toxic ecological paint from Dulux.Dulux Paint, and were kept fed and watered by Marpole BIA member Subway.
“After more than a year of planning, we are beyond thrilled to see both murals come to life,” says Claudia Laroye, Executive Director of the Marpole BIA. “The community response has been fantastic – people are very happy to see these amazing artworks in Marpole.”
Little Free Library at Bean Around the World, 65th and Granville
This little free library was designed in collaboration with Bean Around the World. This unique sculpture/ library is registered officially as part of the international movement at littlefreelibrary.org. The seed books, which are all on the theme of travel, were donated by Characters Book Store, a Marpole business that closed in 2012. The community is encouraged to borrow, take, or leave books when they visit the coffee shop.
Little Free Library at St. Augustineʼs Anglican Church, 71st and Hudson (title image)
This little free library was originally designed in collaboration with Marpole Place Neighborhood House and Marpole Family Place, and was created for their location at 70th and Hudson. Recent flood damage, however, has caused the organizations to temporarily relocate to St. Augustineʼs.
While this library still belongs to Marpole Place Neighborhood House and Marpole Family Place, it has been installed for the time being at St. Augustineʼs for the neighborhood to enjoy. This unique sculpture/library is registered officially as part of the international movement at littlefreelibrary.org. The seed books, which are all on the theme of food, cooking, and gardening, were donated by Characters Book Store, a Marpole business that closed in 2012.
The community is encouraged to borrow, take, or leave books when they visit the church. This little free library also has built-in seating and a planter box. The planter houses a row of lavender and marks the location as part of the Vancouver Parks Departmentʼs Pollinator Project.
Duck Abacus at Kiddy Junction Academy, 71st and Hudson
Duck Abacus is a fun and playful structure that also serves as an educational tool about sustainability and environmental impact. chART received word that 7,000 rubber duckies, which had been used in a fundraiser “river race”, would be thrown out if a use for them could not be found.
chART was able to take 3,000 ducks, using 1,000 to build the shelter and giving 2,000 away, mostly to children, to “re-home”. The Abacus traveled to festivals last summer, and has found a more permanent home here at Kiddy Junction Academy.
chART is a long-term research partnership between the community of Marpole and Dr. Cameron Cartiere of Emily Carr University of Art + Design. chART aims to support public art and community engagement through creativity and innovation. Their research focuses on the sustainable cultural, environmental, social, and economic impact of public art within a community. chART is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Featured Image: Dr. Cameron Cartiere