Saturday, January 16, 2010


The other day, I was listening to CBC radio while working in the shop. They were interviewing Vancouver artist Ken Lum about his recent public art piece “East Van Cross“ Strangely, it took a few minutes of listening to Ken speak about his work and about East Vancouver before I realized that the veneer I was in the process of stitching together was for a large custom piece for his apartment.
I have done a number of pieces of furniture and architectural woodwork for Ken Lum and made a few of his conceptual art pieces. The work is always interesting.
There seems to be a mini boom in public art in Vancouver at this time. Much of it, I assume, like the East Van Cross are related to the upcoming Olympic games.
A metal fabricator I know is currently working on what looks like a scaled up wreckage of a balsa wood glider for Rodney Graham another Vancouver artist.
A huge photo mural by Stan Douglas has been unveiled at the new Woodwards development on Hastings Street gastown. It’s great to see this work happening. Until recently many of these artists were far better known in Europe and other places than they were in Vancouver. That’s typical of Vancouver, and probably many other less known cities. Artists need to get international recognition before anyone at home will acknowledge them.
I have had the pleasure of working with a number of great artists over the years. A few years ago we built a number of giant frames for black and white photos by Vancouver artist Jeff Wall. At approximately nine by thirteen feet they were too large to assemble in the shop as there were also other projects going on at the time. The frames had to be assembled in the parking lot outside the shop. It was unusually rainy that summer so each morning we would have to set up a pair of large tents to work under, then hang the frames and move everything inside at the end of the day.

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