Choosing the 2013 Ironclad Art Design Winners


From 1000+ to 152;  from 152 to 28;
from 28 to (ta-da!) the final 2…


Over 1000 designs for storm and sanitary sewer covers were submitted to the Ironclad Art Manhole Design Challenge. A jury selected a long-list of 152 best submissions and then a shortlist of 28 from which the final designs were selected. The winners will be announced on June 1, 2013. The artists who submitted the best two designs will each receive $2,000. Their designs will be cast in iron and installed on Vancouver streets for up to 100 years.

Ironclad Art is a collaboration between the City of Vancouver’s Public Art program in the Cultural Services department and the City’s Engineering department. Ironclad Art celebrates art in the public realm and draws attention to the important role of storm and sanitary sewer separation in keeping our local waters healthy.

The range of art submitted includes works from everyday citizens, well-known artists, several hundred schoolchildren, and design professionals. Entries nearly doubled from the 2004 version, Art Underfoot. Once again, marine life, the environment, and water were prominently featured in the submissions. Many submissions focused on aboriginal influences, Vancouver’s built environment or the demise of the penny.


There are two ways that the public can see everything that was submitted:

  1. Visit the free exhibition at the Interurban Gallery (1 East Hastings at Carrall Street) between 1 and 5 p.m. from May 28 through June 8, 2013. Visitors can expect to see the long list of submissions mounted on walls, and the rest of the works presented as bound collections.
  2. Visit the online gallery at the Ironclad website,


Voting for the People’s Choice will take place online at  and at the Interurban Gallery throughout the run of the exhibition. People’s Choice winners will be announced on June 10th.

Culture - Public Art - Civic - Ironclad Art - images - Exhibition - installation strip


The response from schools submitting art from students was almost overwhelming. Hundreds of students drew, painted, sketched and crayoned their vision of what should be installed on Vancouver’s streets. Ironclad Art submissions 001Among the schools (in alphabetical order) submitting significant numbers of works were:

  • Champlain Heights Annex
  • Chief Maquinna Elementary
  • David Thompson Secondary
  • Eric Hamber Secondary
  • General Wolfe Elementary School
  • John Norquay Elementary
  • Lord Byng Secondary
  • Mackenzie Elementary School
  • Mt. Pleasant Elementary School
  • The Writer’s Exchange

The long-list of 152 submissions included more than 25 outstanding designs from young people. Four students actually made it to the final shortlist, which is a tremendous accomplishment. In recognition of the efforts of these student artists, a selection of teachers will receive gift cards from Opus Art Supplies to support their continued excellence in training young artists.


An independent panel of judges was given the tremendous challenge of distilling all 1000+ entries down to the two winning designs.

Information about the individual jury members is available online at


Corrine Hunt, Germaine Koh, Vanessa Kwan, Bob Kronbauer, and Sadhu Aufochs Johnston


The shortlisted 28 designs and the two People’s Choices will each be recognized with a substantial collection of cultural and recreational opportunities. A selection of schools and the Ambassadors will also be recognized for their participation.

  • Bard on the Beach – A pair of tickets to a performance of Twelfth Night at Bard on the Beach Sunday, June 23 – 7pm performance.
  • Science World of British Columbia – The recipient’s choice of either 2 adult VIP passes for the August Adult Evening, or 1 adult and 1 child General Admission passes for a daytime visit.
  • Museum of Vancouver – A pair of complimentary admission passes.
  • Maritime Museum – A pair of admission passes.
  • Vancouver Park Board – A pair of complimentary admission passes valid at any Park Board fitness centre, swimming pool or ice rink.
  • In addition, the Vancouver Fringe has generously donated pairs of ticket vouchers and memberships to this year’s festival for the gallery ambassadors who will be sitting the show at the InterUrban Gallery.
  • Opus Art Supplies contributed towards gift cards to selected schools in recognition of their outstanding participation and to encourage future art-making.

Culture - Public Art - Civic - Ironclad Art - Exhibition - Iogo strip


Citizens and the general public can learn more about the Ironclad Art Project by visiting Join the conversation on Facebook at /vanculture and follow us on Twitter @VanCultureBC

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