The 2014 Culture Days walking tours were meant to highlight a variety of artworks in the downtown core as well as the False Creek/Yaletown area.
As I walked with groups ranging between 6- 20 people, I would sometimes stop in an area and ask tour-goers if they could point out the public artwork in the space. This was an opportunity for the group to take time to investigate their surroundings. My intentions were to highlight some of the lesser known works, or some of the pieces that you may walk by and not realize were part of the Public Art Program.
Oftentimes people think of public art as large-scale landmark sculptures. The tours informed people that public art is more than that. By highlighting a range of artworks that included grandiose pieces, as well as some hidden gems, my goal as the guide was to offer some insight into our everyday surroundings. Some of the artworks on the tours were created as subtle interventions, or are integrated with architectural features. One of the attendees on the False Creek/Yaletown tour stated that he took the path to work every day and did not realize all of the artworks that he was walking by.
As a tour guide it was an absolute pleasure to offer a few extra tidbits of information that not everyone would have necessarily known. While researching the artworks, I learned a great deal about what the Public Art Program has to offer. It’s great to see how well this city supports artists, whether they are emerging or established. The diversity of public artworks in the City of Vancouver is an expression of culture that works to mark histories, brighten space, offer social commentary and add artistic interventions into our everyday lives.
Emilie Crewe, artist and tour guide
EMILIE CREWE, BIO
Emilie holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent exhibition history includes the AC Institute in New York, NY, the Governor’s Island Art Fair in New York, NY, the Zhou B. Art Center in Chicago, IL, and the Khyber Institute of Contemporary Art in Halifax, NS.