Village verve 

Glacial Traces, street banners will be latest examples of public art

Two new public art projects will be installed this summer in Whistler.

New street banners from designer Denise Cook, and the final installation of the Glacial Traces project will be completed through the organization of the Whistler public art committee.

Chair Jane Wong says "these are elements that can make Whistler stand out (in the minds of visitors)."

Banners by Cook, formerly of the RMOW and currently owner of a Vancouver-based design company, will be on display at Village Square later this month.

The Glacial Traces project, a continuation of an ongoing work by the same name from artist Celine Rich, is due for installation upon completion of construction at Maurice Young Millennium Place, likely in September.

Rich’s project mimics the glacial process in the patterns of the paving stones around Village Park.

"The pavement is supposed to convey the idea of glacier receding," adds Wong.

Twenty pavers represent fossils, scattered throughout the paving and across the Sightlines Bridge nearby.

The final stage of Rich’s project involved the community creating snowflakes, which were then cast in blocks of recycled glass during a workshop nearly five years ago.

The snowflake blocks will be installed, in a random pattern, in a park fountain that will be built in front of Maurice Young Millennium Place. The snowflakes, in the fountain at the top of the Glacial Traces piece, complete the story of a glacier.

The new street banners from Cook are akin to the visual displays of the Bridge Art Project, on display on the pedestrian bridge over Village Gate Boulevard (the Ted Nebbeling Bridge), which incorporated the work of six different artists on weather-proof material.

The artists were Sharon Jensen, Scott Johnston, Jean Lee, Isobel MacLaurin, Heidi Mattson, and Janet Young. Their banners are hung intermittently in between local advertising displays.

Six new artists will be commissioned this coming year for the second half of the project, after a call for artists takes place in September.

The visual art works represent a change for public art, according to Parks and Recreation planner at the RMOW, Kevin McFarland.

McFarland, a member of the public art committee for the past four years, says most public art displays tend to be three-dimensional, sculpture works, like the two structures located outside Dusty’s Bar at Creekside.

More public art is coming, including the new "Celestri" sculpture from the team of Patricia Ray and Gerald Gasztoni, which was commissioned for the new Four Seasons Hotel being built by Intrawest. Construction of the hotel began this past spring.

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