New Dude Chilling statue returns to namesake Vancouver park

Aug 14 2019, 2:41 pm

After a years-long hiatus, a prominent, reclining, namesake fixture is returning to Dude Chilling Park in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.

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The so-called Dude Chilling statue, officially named the ‘Reclining Figure’ by artist Michael Dennis, has returned to Guelph Park, also known as Dude Chilling Park.

According to Mount Pleasant Community Centre Association, the statue was removed in 2017 due to its deterioration and the resulting need for its rehabilitation. At the time, its rebar was exposed and the cedar body was in a process of decomposition.

The old, decomposed Reclining Figure statue at Dude Chilling Park. (Mount Pleasant Community Centre Association)

The sculpture was transported to Denman Island for Dennis to undergo repair work. Instead, a new bronze replica of ‘The Dude’ has been made to ensure the public art piece’s durability and a renewed long-term presence in the park.

Earlier this year, a crowdfunding campaign with a goal of raising $20,000 to help cover costs was launched, but it was only able to raise about $1,800.

“This process has been expensive as you can appreciate. There has been shipping and installation costs as well,” reads a Facebook post by the association.

“The Mount Pleasant Community Association has been blitzing city-wide for contributions for quite a while and are still short of our goal. We even know of youngsters in the park who have helped to raise funds with lemonade stand revenues.”

The association says 8 1/2 Restaurant and Lounge, Vancouver Art House Society, Rio Theatre, R & B Brewing, Christopher Foundation, and Vancouver Park Board were all instrumental to giving the statue a new life.

The statue was first installed at the park in 1991 as part of the Brewery Creek Art Exposition.

A public celebration will be held on Saturday, August 17, 2019, between 1 and 4 pm, at the park to celebrate the return of the statue. Dennis will be on hand, and there will be live music by The Undercovers, hot dogs and bratwurst, and refreshments.

Dude Chilling Park

Dude Chilling Park sign. (Vancouver Park Board)

Last year, the park board provided the park with a new sign after it was allegedly stolen, resulting in a major lack of chill.

And nearby at the Olympic Village, The Birds — a pair of giant sparrow sculptures — returned to Milton Wong Plaza after globetrotting work that resulted in new aluminum replicas.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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