Thursday, April 10, 2008

Movers and Shapers

Check out Movers and Shapers, going on from April 24-June 22, 2008 at the Vancouver Museum. The show features a great cross-section of 'emerging' Vancouver designers.

Thomas' Hycroft

Some photos of Lionel Thomas' work at Hycroft Towers in Vancouver. Each floor features a large abstract frieze opposite the elevators that is composed of 12"x12" (approx.) panels that bear repeated patterns. They seem to draw equal inspiration from Aztec motifs and modern abstract sculpture and fit nicely alongside Thomas' other public sculpture in the city.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sergei's Challenge

In relation to the previous post and urban arts groups, a recent article by Sally McGrane in the New York Times discusses the curious relationship between artistic productivity and the spaces they inhabit, viewed through the prism of architect Sergei Gnedovsky's new Pyotr Fomenko Workshop Theater in Moscow.

Believing that "the worse the conditions, the better the art", Gnedovsky faced a unique challenge in designing a new building for the theater group that had flourished for many years in an apparently less than adequate space.

The Changing City

In a recent article in The Globe and Mail's weekly Real Estate section, Trevor Boddy makes a case for Vancouver's creative class being pushed out of the city due to recent development and increasing cost of living. Vancouver's East side and parts of the downtown peninsula have traditionally served as locales for cheap rents, supporting studios and arts spaces, however as the development boom pushes east, those buildings are quickly being razed or repurposed.

The same day the above article was published, CBC Radio One's Sounds Like Canada ran a report on Vancouver's density bonus program that provided insight into how the city is being radically reshaped. CBC Producer Theresa Lalonde focused on the plight of the Homer Cafe which is due to be closed and redeveloped as part of the 'last true Yaletown address' named "The Beasley" - a tribute to Vancouver's former Director of Planning.

As part of the density bonus program, the facade of The Homer building is to be retained while the rest is subsumed into the greater development. The report touches on the issues of the loss of greasy spoons such as The Homer Cafe (and their under-appreciated contribution to the city's fabric), the relationship between developers and the city, as well as the complexity of heritage preservation in a city in the throes of a building boom.

Modern In Sight

The West Vancouver Archives is currently showing an exhibition of Duncan McNab's work. Modern In Sight runs until May 31st and is a chance to revisit the residential and commercial output of the West Vancouver Modernist who passed away last year.

This Saturday April 12th at 1:30pm, Terry Barkley, a former associate, will give a talk about McNab's work as well as the development of West Coast Modernism.

There is also an ongoing lecture series concerning green practices and sustainability, featuring talks by Peter Busby, Darryl Condon and others.