Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gordon Smith and West Vancouver

West Vancouver artist Gordon Smith has created a limited-edition print for the District of West Vancouver. The print will be available for purchase after March 28 and is inspired by the large mural - called Beach Tangle - that the artist created for the new W.V. Community Centre. The mural is crafted of painted beach wood and conveys the connection between the community and the oceanfront that defines it.

The print, inversely named Tangle Beach, is printed using the intaglio method and enhanced by Smith's hand-colouring on each one. It is the latest in a long line of prints the prolific Smith has created in his 50+ year career.

It's refreshing to see an emphasis given to public art, one aspect of construction that often gets laid by the wayside as budgets tighten and emphasis turns to utilitarian concerns. Smith's generosity to his community is also heartening; these projects being an extension of the work Smith has fostered with Artists For Kids, a trust he helped establish in 1989.

It also harkens back to Vancouver's past and its illustrious relationship between art and architecture, including Smith's work for the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. There are numerous other examples in Vancouver of buildings (some now demolished) featuring the work of B.C. Binning, Jack Shadbolt, Lionel Thomas and Elza Mayhew among many others.

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