The City of Vancouver Public Art Program is pleased to announce a new artwork by Erica Stocking for Vancouver’s newest library location, the nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch.
All My Favourite People are Animals by Erica Stocking, 2017
Bronze and one-way mirror
nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch (720-730 East Hastings)
Commissioned by the City of Vancouver Public Art Program in partnership with the Vancouver Public Library
“My work evolves from a desire to find a sense of place in the world, often articulating distinctions of inside/outside and public/private spaces,” says Stocking, who was recognized with the Mayor’s Arts Award for the Emerging Artist in Public Art in 2009. “For me, the library is an extension of home: a place to explore and ignite one’s imagination.”
The artwork is a feature of the new branch library’s main entrance. The 8’4” wide by 9’6” high bronze door is populated with creatures from the neighbourhood (a pigeon, crow, coyote, skunk, raccoon, squirrel and eagle) in a textured surface created by impressions of the artists hands, elbows, knee, etc. The mold was made in clay in the artist’s studio and then cast in the Harman Foundry in Alberta. There are oval “peep holes” in the sculpture that invite people of all ages to peer into another dimension of space behind the door, a space that alternates between the reflection, shadows and transparency of a one-way mirror. The door slides along a track and is locked in place while the library is open.
The nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona branch library was open to the public on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. The project is part of a joint initiative with the Metro Vancouver YWCA that also features safe, affordable housing for low-income single mothers and their children.
VPL’s new branch is roughly 11,000 square feet – one of the largest branches in the city’s library system – and features diverse public spaces, including a digital creation space and Internet access; flexible meeting, programming, and community gathering spaces; and a diverse collection of books, DVDs, magazines and newspapers in English and other languages.
nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona is the first major civic building in Vancouver to have an Aboriginal name. nə́c’aʔmat ct means “We are one” in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm language. The name recognizes and honours the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations and their traditional unceded territories, while also reflecting the neighbourhood’s historic city name, Strathcona.
Erica Stocking is an award-winning artist whose public artwork includes Yellow Fence (2009) on Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus and Geyser for Hillcrest Park (2012, with Vanessa Kwan). She was honoured by the City of Vancouver as the Emerging Artist in Public Art in 2009. Her work has been exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2009), Contemporary Art Gallery (2010), Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr University (2011), the Western Front (2013) and Artspeak Gallery (2015). She currently lives and works in Toronto.
About the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program
The City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program plans and commissions contemporary art for public spaces in the city. The Program has produced over 250 artworks through partnerships with other civic departments and with private developers and community groups.