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Category: Jane’s Walk

Experience your own ‘art on transit’ Jane’s Walk

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The festivities and walking tours associated with the worldwide Jane’s Walk are over for another year, but that doesn’t mean we should stop discovering our communities!

With that in mind, we’d like to share the walk and talk that TransLink’s Debra Rolfe lead during the festival.

Below is a step-by-step guide to art found on and around the Expo Line with a few stops in Vancouver and New Westminster.

Enjoy!

Stadium–Chinatown

Alinka Echeverría’s Precession of the Feminine

2017-03-31_Stadium-Chinatown_Artwork_Panorama
Located on the unused platform at the station, and visible from the main platform or from eastbound trains, temporary project 2017-18

This artwork is part of the Capture Photography Festival, a non-profit annual festival devoted to exhibiting local and international photography. Alinka Echeverría’s Precession of the Feminine is a series of three-dimensional simulations of ceramic vases fused with archival photographs of women and presented against vibrantly coloured backdrops. Echeverría shows her viewers the process behind the creation of these images in order to invite them to look at the unconscious beliefs we bring to viewing photographs, particularly of women. Within the transit context, this project demonstrates one of the goals of TransLink’s public art program to surprise and delight customers, with the layers of meaning in this artwork manifesting differently whether customers pass through the station only once or whether they pass through the station daily.

Main Street–Science World

Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky’s Watch Seller

Watchseller
Artwork is on the plaza outside the Thornton Park entrance to the east stationhouse, permanent project installed 2015

The Watch Seller is a bronze sculpture of a watch seller that functions like a deconstructed public clock. Covered in 720 watch faces, the Watch Seller has every possible minute of a 12-hour analogue clock visible on his figure. He is always out of time, but he also always shows the correct time. These aspects of the artwork reference the shared history of train travel and standardized time, which were invented together in the 19th century. Indeed, standardized time was once called ‘railway time’ and public clocks are a ubiquitous feature of old railway stations. Set at the pedestrian level right outside the station entrance and across Thornton Park from Pacific Central Station, the Watch Seller is the size of a real person. It invites interaction and engagement with the station and the history of rail travel.

Commercial–Broadway

Richard Tetrault Cole Bazin, Karen Chan, Emily Gray, Rachel Stableford and Jerry Whitehead mural

Intersections mural on Broadway and inside the south stationhouse, temporary project 2015-18

This series of murals was commissioned in order to improve the experience of the station during renovation and reduce graffiti on the construction hoardings. It was a partnership with the City of Vancouver’s Integrated Graffiti Management Program. Due to the complex nature of the construction process at this station and the expectation that we would have to move the construction hoarding around over time, we asked the artists to create a series of small murals that could be displayed together or separately. Although the artists all worked together and worked with a shared theme and colour palate, they each led on a 12×8 foot section of the mural. The mural’s name and the motif of the SkyTrain windows repeating throughout remind us of the nature of Commercial-Broadway Station as a place of meeting and of departure.

Joyce–Collingwood

Kim Villagante and aly de la cruz yip’s Home mural

JC mural
Found on Vanness Avenue, outside the east station house, temporary project 2016-17

This project was a partnership with the City of Vancouver’s Integrated Graffiti Management Program and the Collingwood Neighbourhood House. The artists worked with youth who are newcomers to Canada, including Syrian refugee youth, to develop designs related to the concept of home. Individual children produced drawings that the artists then integrated into the overall design. The word ‘home’ in blue, like a river, binds the entire mural together.

New Westminster Station

Sean Alward’s New Westminster Glass Mural

Located along the staircase leading to the westbound platform, permanent project installed 2016

The mural at New Westminster Station is a collage of archival photographs of New Westminster and elsewhere in BC overlaid with brightly coloured shapes. The flow of images in the artwork references the nearby Fraser River and, as the artist has described it, ‘the simple paradox that [the river] is an ever-changing yet constant presence’. The artwork examines the history of New Westminster and British Columbia as one in which ‘nature’ is transformed into ‘resources’ and how an economy, political power and culture develops from that process. It also brings a beautiful stream of multi-coloured light and images into the station, whereas before the view from this staircase was of the concrete wall next door.

Now you’ve got the tools and the information for your own mini-tour of art on transit. Print this out or save it to your phone, grab your Compass Card and get exploring!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Join us for a Jane’s Walk and explore art on transit!

Jane's Walk
I’ve had a tumultuous past with Jane’s Walk.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Jane Jacobs was an incredible woman who sparked a worldwide movement!

Unfortunately, my last Jane’s walk got a bit soggy.

But! I’ve put the pond behind me and I’m so excited to participate in this year’s festivities!

What is a Jane’s Walk?

The international festival is inspired by urbanist and author Jane Jacobs who believed in walkable neighbourhoods, urban literacy and cities planned by and for the people.

(She also would have been 101 years old TODAY!)JJ

The walks are free, citizen-led tours to get people telling stories about their communities, exploring their cities and connecting with neighbours.

Although Jacobs was not trained as a planner, she wrote one of the most influential books on city planning, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

This year TransLink’s own Debra Rolfe will be leading a walk!

Debra is a planner specializing in public art in TransLink’s Facility Design Team. With a background in art history, urban design and transportation planning, she brings a multi-disciplinary approach to art on transit.

So, it’s only fitting that her walk and talk entitled “Getting Where You Want to Go, Beautifully” is exploring the art found on and around transit.

Walk details

Where: Stadium-Chinatown Station, outside the Lost Property Office (look for the Jane’s Walk sign!)
When: Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Walk Route:

  • Stadium-Chinatown SkyTrain Station Concourse level
    Outside Lost Property Office
  • Main Street-Science World SkyTrain Station
    Outside East Station House
  • Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station|
    By 99 B-Line Queue
  • Joyce-Collingwood SkyTrain Station
    Outside East Station House

**Please bring your Compass Card loaded with valid fare or a one-zone Compass Ticket.**

If you’re an art lover, a transit fan or both, you won’t want to miss this!

Interested in other Jane’s Walks in our area? Head to janeswalk.org/canada/vancouver.
Don’t miss out on the social fun, follow @JanesWalk on Twitter!

Author: Adrienne Coling

My Jane’s Walk experience: A Walking Tour of SE False Creek

Jane's Walk 2015It was a beautiful day on May 3rd when I headed out with my basset hounds to a Jane’s Walk in False Creek.

It WAS a beautiful day, until I ended up in a pond! Ok, that’s the end of the story, let me back up a little.

I hope some of you (or lots of you!) got a chance to participate in this year’s series of walks around Metro Vancouver.

Our leaders for the walk were Sabrina and Ian who work for TransLink and BCRTC, respectively. I have to admit, I didn’t know much about this area of False Creek and Olympic Village area other than, well, the Olympic athletes stayed there. I found out that it is a lovely community with various amenities, interesting public art and a rich history!

We started at Creekside Community Centre. I was tempted to just sit in the sun, enjoying a beverage at Tap & Barrel but we pressed on!

In 1978, False Creek was a mix of railway tracks, lumber mills and factories. That was until BC politicians decided to host a small transportation exhibition called “Transpo ’86” to sync with the centennial of Vancouver and the 100th anniversary of the transcontinental railway reaching Vancouver.

This teeny little expo exploded into a a world’s fair and what we now look back fondly as just Expo ’86. Just to give you a little perspective, they were expecting a maximum of 14 million people. They got 22 million! SkyTrain is one of the lasting contributions from Expo ’86 along with BC Place stadium, Science World and Canada Place.

Our next stop was Main St-Science World SkyTrain station, currently under construction. This station was the first of many to begin a facelift. As our stations are around 30 years old, it’s about time! It includes the bike parkade, public art, prototype newspaper containment systems, retail and decorative lighting. The final changes will be made to this station in the next few months to be done by the end of this summer.

Just down the path you can see the Pacific Central train station. It houses… guess what? TRAINS! This was built in 1919 for the Canadian National Railway. CN passenger trains were transferred to VIA Rail in 1978. Today, one of the most popular train trips is from here to Seattle.

Just to the North of the station is the property which will become the new site for St. Paul’s Hospital.

The Trans Am Totem by Marcus Bowcott is quite striking to see up close. Until this walk, I had only seen it from the SkyTrain on my way to or from downtown.

It’s part of Vancouver’s “Open Air Museum” from the 3rd Vancouver Biennale exhibition allowing access to all and to hopefully create “unexpected and global inspired cultural experiences where people live, play, work and transit.” This piece, according to the artist, is a metaphor that uncovers an unpleasant darkness in our society while revealing the emotional bankruptcy that results from our dependence on cheap, consumer goods.

You can also see the viaducts from this vantage point and it turns out the Georgia viaduct is for more than just filming the Deadpool movie! Along with the Dunsmuir viaduct, it was opened in 1972 that replaced a structure built from 1913-15.

The update was supposed to create a series of expressways in the downtown core. An idea that didn’t quite come to fruition. However, 43,000 vehicles and 2,000 bicycles use the viaducts every single day.

Hogan’s Alley was the local and unofficial name for Park Lane, an alley that ran through the southwestern corner of Strathcona until the 1960s. Most of the area was destroyed by the 1970s for the construction of the viaducts. Only one landmark of that area still remains and the Jimi Hendrix shrine on the corner of Union and Main. His grandmother lived in Vancouver and Jimi spent many a summer in the area.

Next, we rounded back, passing our origin and continued to Olympic Village Square. Let me tell you, it’s for the birds! No, seriously, have you seen the giant sparrows? Apparently, they are European. C’est bon, es ist toll, es genial, è fantastico! The art is from Myfanwy MacLeod and inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s film, “The Birds.”

Then came the wetlands. Here’s where it all started to go wrong…

So, the park area with yes, wetlands, open green space, children’s playground, dog runs and the continuation of bike and walking paths is unofficially known as Hinge Park. The area is a combination of historical references to the former City Worksyard site with the creation of a naturalized wetland environment.

As I was trying to take a picture of the group, oops! It just slipped and I wasn’t fast enough. Phone. Pond. Ker-plunk!

I didn’t hesitate! I let my country girl roots kick in. Shoes and jewelry off and in I went! Unfortunately, the area closest to the phone’s watery grave was covered in bramble so I had a ways to go actually IN the water. It was cold. It was gross. There were ducks. People stared. You can see the final picture below I got from Sabrina. I suffer for this blog!

BUT! I got my phone, it worked (a modern day miracle) and I saved all the pictures from the day! And thanks to the fruit inspired manufacturer, let’s call them… “Banana,” I got a replacement phone for my rapidly fritzing, waterlogged one.

Because I was rather soggy, I missed the final stop, the Brewery Creek region. Luckily, my colleagues provided me with their notes!

Way, way, back this area was covered in dense, dark rainforest with many indigenous flower and berries used for First Nations medicine and food.

Later on, it was still defined by its landscape, with slaughterhouses, the nearby Vancouver Tannery and breweries including San Francisco Brewery, Mainland Brewery, Landsdowne Brewery, Lion Brewery and the Thorpe & Co. Soda Water Works.

Inspired by hops and barley past, there is a movement for areas call Craft beer urbanism. Yep. It’s a thing! Craft breweries and smaller distilleries and wineries are a part of a still growing trend in urbanism that helps define place making opportunities and local identity.

Last, but certainly not least, was the Salt Building (now home to Craft Beer Market) built in 1930. The original 13,000 square-foot space worked with the Bay Area salt trade in San Francisco where unrefined salt was shipped to Vancouver for processing and extraction. It is one of the last buildings in the area that harkens back to the industrial heyday of Vancouver.

That’s all folks! It was an interesting and enlightening day. I’m very glad, despite what I’m dubbing the new Watergate, I was able to understand more about some of the communities and neighbourhoods in Metro Vancouver. Although next time, I’ll have someone else take the photos, or have a wrist strap!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Jane’s Walk 2015 – See what your community has to offer!

Jane's WalkI posted about Jane’s Walk a little while ago. Don’t remember? Here’s a refresher!

On May 1st to 3rd you can participate in a free Jane’s Walk in the area you live, work or play and discuss what matters to you!

Jane’s Walk helps knit people into strong and resourceful communities.

The festival is inspired by urbanist and author Jane Jacobs – who would be 99 years old this Monday.

She believed in walkable neighbourhoods, urban literacy, and cities planned by and for the people.

Although she was never formally trained as a planner, she wrote one of the most influential books on city planning, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

There are over 100 cities worldwide hosting their own walks!

So, here’s the NEW news, the following mayors have also agreed to step it up a notch by leading their own Jane’s Walks:

Some Metro Vancouver Councillors have stepped up to the challenge as well:

And more!

  • Former Vancouver City Councillor and SFU City Program Director Gordon Price
  • Former Co-Director of Planning for City of Vancouver Larry Beasley
  • Former Vancouver City Councillor and social activist Ellen Woodsworth

There are so many amazing stories to hear and places to see during this festival.

I encourage you to check out Jane’s Walk, choose your city and pick a walk that’s right for you!

Keep an eye out on social media for some of these hashtags: #janeswalk #janeswalkmetrovancouver #TravelSmart

Get more information at travelsmart.ca and janeswalk.org.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Jane’s Walk: Connecting Communities

Get to your neighbourhood and strengthen your community May 1-3

Get to know your neighbourhood and strengthen your community May 1-3

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”- Jane Jacobs

On May 1st to 3rd you can participate in a free Jane’s Walk in the area you live, work or play and discuss what matters to you!

Jane’s Walk helps knit people into strong and resourceful communities.

The festival is inspired by urbanist and author Jane Jacobs who believed in walkable neighbourhoods, urban literacy, and cities planned by and for the people.

Although she was never formally trained as a planner, she wrote one of the most influential books on city planning, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

Metro Vancouver cities aren’t the only ones participating. There are over 100 cities worldwide hosting their own walks!

Check out a Burnaby Jane’s Walk from last year!

Guess what? YOU can lead a tour, too! Don’t be nervous, you don’t have to be an expert.

Use these simple steps to lead a Jane’s Walk:

      1. Decide what you want to talk about

2. Plan out a route by going for a walk

3. Enter your walk on janeswalk.org

4. Get the word out to friends, neighbours and anyone you might want to attend your walk!

Orientation Sessions

Thursday March 19th
5:30-6:30
Translink – 400 – 287 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster

Monday March 23
5:30-6:30
Mt Pleasant Library   – #1 Kingsway

Thursday April 16th
5:30-6:30
Mt Pleasant Library – #1 Kingsway

Take a look at some ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • History – Past & Present
  • Health and Happiness
  • Architecture
  • Stroller Walks for Parents and Tots
  • Public Space
  • Family Walks
  • First Nations Heritage
  • Accessibility and Walkability
  • Redevelopment & Urbanization
  • LGBTQ community
  • Live Music Venues
  • Nature in the City
  • Public Art and Theatre
  • Urban Gardens
  • Sports, Recreation & Health
  • Community Development
  • Being a Newcomer in a Community
  • Transportation
  • A Local Literary Tour

So source your stories and talk to your neighbours and local residents. You can even ask them to be a stop on your walk!

You can also head to your trusty local library to absorb a wealth of knowledge about the area and theme you’re interested in.

Walks should be about 1.5 hours with anywhere from 6 to 10 stops along the way.  When planning your walk route, keep accessibility in mind. Such as transit, public washrooms and parking.

Don’t forget to promote your walks on social media using some of these hashtags: #janeswalk #janeswalkmetrovancouver #TravelSmart

Get more information at travelsmart.ca and janeswalk.org.

Author: Adrienne Coling