A bright sight: Public art gives life to future Capstan Station

A bright sight: Public art gives life to future Capstan Station

TransLink has long since served as a canvas for various public art projects around Metro Vancouver. The latest being a collaborative piece between three Richmond-based artists that stands at the foot of what will soon be Canada Line’s Capstan Station.

We asked the artists to reflect on how a transportation hub can foster community, and they answered with three vibrant murals that wrap the on-site hoarding.

Artist Dawn Lo stands in front of her public art project at Capstan StationTransporting

Transporting is a digital mural by artist Dawn Lo which imagines the future Capstan SkyTrain Station and its surrounding area. Once complete, Capstan Station will be an active transportation hub surrounded by extensive public spaces for people to enjoy through play, relaxation, and get-togethers.

Illustrated as a series of activities emerging from portals, Lo envisions people jogging, biking, dog walking, dancing, reading, and making art. The vibrant colours and dynamic poses of the mural illustrate the energy and movement of the future site and amplify the bursts of playfulness and creativity of the different activities.

Dawn Lo is an illustrator whose work has appeared in picture books, stationery, greeting cards, public art installations, and more. Born in Hong Kong, she is currently based in Richmond, B.C. See more of her work on Instagram.

Artist Laura Kwok stands in front of her public art project at Capstan StationPassages

Passages is a vibrant depiction of the natural wonders, stunning local landmarks, and thriving transportation system that make Richmond a historic and cultural gem in the region. Artist Laura Kwok reflects on the rich transportation history of the city to celebrate the significant impact it has had in the evolution of Richmond and the wider region.

A plane from the early 1900s is illustrated as a nod to the city’s rich aviation history – one which was instrumental to the progression of aviation in Western Canada in the 20th century. On the left of the mural, a historic Steveston fishing boat is depicted, and on the right a bicycle along the greenway. Representing the continually growing transportation system is a TransLink bus, SeaBus, and a grinning SkyTrain zooming across the centre of the mural.

Well-known Richmond landmarks give the mural a sense of familiarity. From Garry Point Park and its cherry blossom trees and the historic houses at the Britannia Shipyards to the iconic Olympic Oval and Aberdeen Centre, and more, residents will recognize the beloved locations that make Richmond home. The artist also reflects on the local wildlife and botanicals, showcasing the diverse, natural beauty that makes Richmond the stunning and special place it is.

Laura Kwok is an artist and illustrator based in Richmond. Inspired by nature, wildlife and travel, her work recreates these themes in a colourful and imaginative style. She launched her stationery brand Art + Soul Creative Co. in 2016 and continues to design and illustrate for her own product line. Aside from working with clients and creating commercial work, Laura is passionate about pursuing her own large-scale art pieces and mural projects.

Laura adds another layer to her art with an immersive scavenger hunt of the local landmarks, animals and flowers that can be found in mural? Load up the great mural scavenger hunt here.

Artist Jeni Chen stands in front of her public art project at Capstan StationConnection

Connection is a digital mural by artist Jeni Chen visualizing the future Capstan SkyTrain Station and the many ways in which the new transportation hub will connect people and foster community. Once built, Capstan Station will be an important, active, multi-modal transportation hub surrounded by extensive public spaces for gathering, relaxing, celebrating and playing.

In her work, Chen shows pods of people dancing, viewing art, playing sports, walking their dogs, and gathering against a backdrop of the Coast Mountains, Fraser River, and the sky. Running through the artwork is a blue SkyTrain line symbolic of how the transportation system connects us in community and gives us access to recreation, culture, the arts, and moments of celebration.

Jeni Chen is an artist based in Richmond. She received a Fine Art certificate from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2018 and has produced several public art projects in British Columbia. As a mom and a teacher of community arts programs, Chen sees how brilliant and creative kids are. She wrote and illustrated a picture book called Emet’s Box to encourage children to explore their brilliance and creativity. See more of Jeni’s work on Instagram.

A special thanks to the City of Richmond’s Public Art Program for introducing TransLink to these three talented artists.