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Art in Transit: a new art showcase from Emily Carr University and TransLink

The Art in Transit artworks, mounted on a wall at Emily Carr University for the launch event!

We launched a new Art on Transit pilot project today, with a small event at Emily Carr University of Art and Design!

Art in Transit features 31 artworks from 18 Emily Carr students, which are printed on our standard ad cards and will be displayed on our buses and Expo/Millennium Line SkyTrain cars for the next two years.

Each image has been reproduced 24 times, so there’s a good chance you’ll catch at least one of them on your ride on the system!

You can learn more about the project and view all of the artwork in high resolution on TransLink’s website: www.translink.ca/art.

But for more photos of the event this morning, plus talks with four of the artists, have a look below!

The launch event: March 7, 2011

Another view of the art cards mounted on the wall at Emily Carr.

We were very happy to partner with Emily Carr University on this project—in fact, it’s the second time we’ve worked with them! In 2010, our Between Spaces partnership enlivened the small spaces in Burrard Station with visual art.

Over 50 students submitted pieces for consideration, and a selection committee from TransLink and Emily Carr chose the final pieces in the Art on Transit project. Each artist received a $200 honorarium.

Copies of all the panels will be on display in Emily Carr University’s South Building Atrium from March 7-13, 2011 and it’s open to the public between the hours of noon and 8pm. (And again, more information on the art and artists can be found on TransLink’s website at www.translink.ca/art and on Emily Carr’s website at www.ecuad.ca.)

Susan Stewart, dean, Faculty of Culture + Community at Emily Carr, says a few words about our Art on Transit project at the launch event.

Susan Stewart, dean of Emily Carr’s Faculty of Culture + Community, and one of the key collaborators on this project, said some lovely words at the opening. Here’s a small part of her speech:

“TransLink and Emily Carr, we had the same vision. And that’s why I think it’s such a wonderful collaboration. Thousands and thousands of people use the transit system in Vancouver every day, and for those of you who use it—and I’m one person who does—some of us do it many times a week. We go from station to station and we have this movement in between, and there are thousands and thousands of people doing the same thing in Vancouver every day. And one of the values that TransLink has that’s so extraordinary for me is how much they care about the experience that the public is having. They deeply care about the journey itself.”

“And so this idea of bringing art to the people of Vancouver, for their everyday experience. They go on the stations and on the trains and if they’re anything like me they can get habituated in our habits. You’re standing there, and it’s Monday morning and you have to go to work. And now, you might look up and it’s like, “Oh. Look at that.” Here’s a moment of reflection possibly, or humour, of ideas, and excitement and creativity, in this places that we all live, all of us in the community, all the citizens of Vancouver. So that’s the vision we shared with TransLink: bringing art, ideas, design, creativity, and especially the creativity of our students at Emily Carr.”

Brian Mills, TransLink's Director, Service and Infrastructure Planning.

Brian Mills from TransLink said a few words too at the opening: he mentioned how this project will hopefully help us turn our transportation infrastructure into community amenities!

Mark Illing, student artist.

And Mark Illing, a student with three pieces in the Art on Transit project, also said a few words, thanking both Emily Carr and TransLink for being part of the project. He said that this project will hopefully help students segue into a bright future, helping them receive more exposure, and allow them to grow and develop as artists. “A lot of people have worked very hard to make this happen and we are very fortunate to be a part of it,” he said.

Talks with a few of the artists!

Mark Illing with his three artworks.

I talked with Mark Illing a bit about his artwork.

Mark has three pieces in the Art on Transit project, each part of a series called Tangential Obfuscation.

Mark said he likes doing pieces that are architectural in feel—for each of these works, he started at one point and expanded out, keeping an eye to form and balance and such he went along.

You can’t actually see any of the start points on the display cards, as the original pieces that form the basis of each of his artwork are about 60% bigger than what was printed.

Mark is originally from Calgary, says he rides transit a lot here and has yet to see his piece on the system! Soon, I’m sure! (You can click here to see a much larger version of his artwork cards.)

Adam Stenhouse, Vanessa Arnold, and Molly Chang!

Adam Stenhouse's Lake Kennedy. Click for a MUCH larger version.

Adam Stenhouse also has three works in Art on Transit, which are three photographs under the title Lake Kennedy.

Adam is from the UK, is doing a Masters of Applied Arts at Emily Carr, and yes, photography is his medium of choice.

The photos in Lake Kennedy are actually of the real Lake Kennedy on Vancouver Island, and Adam said the photos are a result of a chance encounter—being in the right place at the right time.

He said people are surprised to hear that the photographs are actually entirely in colour: they are simply a reflection of the ambient light there.

And in fact, these photographs are in fact part of a long term project he’s working on.

Vanessa Arnold's (my bestie)(me)/food in many languages/heart repair, and conversation with a squirrel/art gallery vs strip club/my dog smells kind of like fritos. Click for a MUCH larger version.

Vanessa Arnold has two works in Art on Transit: Post-It Note artwork called (my bestie)(me)/food in many languages/heart repair, and conversation with a squirrel/art gallery vs strip club/my dog smells kind of like fritos.

She said she’s always been drawing on Post-Its, but especially when she used to work in offices before going to school at Emily Carr—it was a good way to keep up her practice. She chose six Post-Its for Art on Transit as they conveyed emotion and narrative, and they were humourous and relatable: hopefully a good way for people to think about their life in Vancouver!

Vanessa’s originally from Ottawa and is also in the Masters of Applied Arts program at Emily Carr. And she’s already seen her art on transit, while riding on the 22 on Saturday with a friend! She said it was wonderful seeing it up there.

You can see more of Vanessa’s Post-It art at her blog, love-an-arnold.tumblr.com.

Molly Chang's Up Goes Mr. Tums. Click for a MUCH larger version.

Molly Chang‘s artwork is called Up Goes Mr Tums! Molly said she likes drawing patterns and rooftops, and felt that this particular set looked like a Vancouver neighbourhood. She added the cat character that she’d created in another class, and gave him a pair of rain boots—and there we have the final piece.

Molly’s originally from Taiwan and is in the Bachelor of Visual Arts program at Emily Carr. For the future, she’s hoping to create children’s books, toys, figurines, and possibly product design. You can find out more about Molly at her website, diligentdreamers.com.

Again, to see all the artwork in our Art on Transit project, visit the TransLink website: www.translink.ca/art! I’ll also have some more interviews with our Art on Transit artists in the upcoming weeks.


8 Comments

  • By Sally, March 7, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

    Great stuff! Look forward to seeing some of the art. Also, for us nerdy English Lit students, can you put more Poems on the bus/trains?!!

  • By Jas, March 7, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

    Ah, excellence! Transit + Art, together again! My dreams come true! A great URL to accompany the project too: http://www.translink.ca/art.

    Thanks, Jhen!

  • By Erika Rathje, March 7, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    This is awesome! I saw one last week. I was wondering if I could use one of these images on my blog to promote this? (With credit + link to here of course.)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, March 8, 2011 @ 10:25 am

    Erika: that would be fine! Glad to hear you’re enjoying the project :)

  • By Mandy Pearce, March 8, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

    I know that advertising is a “necessary evil” as a revenue source, but I welcome having interesting alternatives like this to complement it and balance out the visual environment, putting a bit more beauty and community into our travel. Nicely done, Translink and Emily Carr!

  • By Erika Rathje, March 8, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

    Thanks, Jhenifer! And for your note on my blog, too.

  • By Steven, March 9, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

    I enjoyed the projects they’ve had in London http://art.tfl.gov.uk/ and the Poems on the Underground http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/2437.aspx – Any plans to extend the displays to the Canada Line?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, March 11, 2011 @ 10:07 am

    Steven: ProTrans BC/InTransit BC manages the artwork that goes up on the Canada Line, and they’ve tended to do so independently of TransLink projects. Currently they’re not involved in this Art on Transit project, but they did have an earlier animation project with Emily Carr, and they run their own ongoing public art program.

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