In what might just feel like the most visually relatable piece of public art in the city, a five-and-a-half metre tall, two-ton sculpture is now on display on Vancouver’s North False Creek seawall.
Dubbed The Proud Youth, the piece is described as an enormous boy with a towering pose and an “equally big mischievous grin.”
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It also bears an uncanny resemblance to how many of us are feeling these days, one year into a global pandemic.
The installation is part of the Vancouver Biennale’s six-month extension to its re-IMAGE-n exhibition.
The full program will unfold over the spring and summer months and include new public art installations, BIKEnnale/WALKennale interactive walking and cycling tours, free online educational programs, a new and highly addictive YouTube channel, and immersive augmented reality experiences that will redefine your relationship with art in public space.
All elements of the exhibition are COVID-19 safe and freely accessible for everyone to play, learn, connect, and transform through art.
“When we announced in May of 2018 the curatorial theme re-IMAGE-n for our 2018-2020 exhibition, we never imagined that halfway through we’d have to reimagine the exhibition itself,” said Barrie Mowatt, founder and Artistic Director of the Vancouver Biennale in a release.
Then COVID-19 came along, which Mowatt said has “been a time of great discovery for us, finding new opportunities for collaboration, new ways to connect to global audiences, and new ways to create and evolve the experience of public art.”
This second phase of re-IMAGE-n will explore themes of Indigenous knowledge and learning practices, ocean literacy and environmental stewardship, and technology as a driving force for new artistic practices and global connectivity: a re-imagining of what is public space.