Vancouver Downtown Association Logo

A Force for Public Art in Vancouver

Vancouver’s Downtown Association has a long history of investing in unique public art to enrich our city center and create a place that is unlike no other in the world. In the past 5 years, VDA has invested nearly $150,000 in various projects throughout our downtown.

Rainku

rainku

Vancouver’s Downtown Association and Clark County Poet Laureate Christopher Luna are proud to announce a unique public art project for National Poetry Month in April 2017.

Haiku and short poems about the downtown Vancouver experience will be applied to the sidewalk using a special paint which will only be visible in the rain for approximately 2-4 months.

Each poem will reflect the downtown Vancouver experience, such as spending time outdoors, attending cultural events, or exploring the city with family or friends. Our aim is to present poems which will lift the spirits of those who come upon them.

The installation will be celebrated with an opening celebration and reading, as well as a poetry crawl. Dates TBA!

Follow Rainku progress in social media using the #DTVANrainku, and be sure to use this tag in your own photos!

The Phoenix

The Phoenix and its location at 8th and Main were chosen by the late Carl Dobbs, an active member of our Design Committee. Sadly, Carl passed away on October 2nd and was unable to see this magnificent sculpture in its glory, but he was aware of the project and was pleased to know that it was going to become a reality. The Phoenix was funded through grant funds provided by the City of Vancouver. This sculpture helped raise other funds dedicated to public art in our downtown. The community is always pleased to see this kind of investment and is supportive.

Turtle Place turtle-place-sculpture-fall

Turtle Place is a public plaza downtown on 7th and Main Street. Formerly a C-Tran bus stop, it is now a model of sustainability and urban beauty.

Thanks to a cooperative effort led by VDA and including the City of Vancouver and C-Tran, Vancouver has a new public gathering place rich with public art and environmentally low-impact fixtures and plantings.

The name “Turtle Place” comes from Vancouver’s past. There is a good reason Vancouver is located where it is. This rich, fertile area has been a population center for thousands of years. Before the Europeans settled the area, it was a gathering place for native people, known to them as “Turtle Place.”

Turtle Place received the 2009 Award of Distinction for Public Spaces from the International Downtown Association.  The annual Achievement Award recognizes the level of innovation, replication, partnerships, and impact for the project.  Vancouver’s Downtown Association, in partnership with C-TRAN and the City of Vancouver, transformed an underused bus mall into an urban plaza rich with public art, lighting, seating, and other amenities.  The plaza was constructed from repurposed materials as a model for sustainable practices.

Many local businesses contributed to our new plaza: Harper Houf Peterson Righellis, Group McKenzie, Tribe2 Studios, and more. Visit Turtle Place anytime and enjoy the many events now scheduled.

Flying Umbrellas

The streets were alive on Friday for April’s Art Walk – Hundreds came out to witness the unveiling of downtown’s newest public art, “Flying Umbrellas”.

From a pool of 19 local artists, Cobalt Designworkswas selected to produce our newest exhibit. Financial support came from Friends of Carl Dobbs, the City of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Downtown Association.

The power to keep it lighted with LED lights will cost just pennies a month……only $8.09 annually!  The lighting was paid for with funds donated by Columbia Credit Union. Thanks CCU!!

Art is the icing on the cake that helps us explore, think, become amused, consider, and grow. It can beckon a pedestrian to walk just a bit further to see “what is that interesting thing I see in the next block?”.

It can take stories from our past and make them new again. And, it can teach us a bit more about our world as a whole and our place in its future. Art activates streets, helps connect busy places together, and enriches the fiber of the downtown experience.