WHITE ROCK — When it comes to local art walls, perhaps none is more famous than the whale wall at Russell Avenue and Johnston Road. Arguably one of White Rock’s most well-known and well-viewed pieces, the city is hoping to replicate that success using other blank walls around town.
To do that, residents are being asked for their opinion on what types of installations they might want to see around the city, be it the standard murals or mosaics or the more modern green walls and relief walls.
“We’re looking to see if people are interested if this is something they’d be happy with,” said Claire Halpburn, the city’s manager of cultural development. “Some of our walls are not in the best shape so we’d start with (decorating) city-owned walls and before we start the process we wanted to make sure this was something the community really wanted.”
The initiative stems from a recommendation made back in May by the city’s public art advisory committee, where it was determined that adding more art walls would serve to better the community.
“Mayor (Wayne) Baldwin advised that there were a lot of retaining walls in White Rock and that this might be something the community might want to pursue,” said Halpburn.“So this would not only serve to beautify, but to help with the city’s strategic planning towards arts and culture and to distinguish it from other cities.”
To gauge interest, the city is hosting a questionnaire on its website and recently held a public forum for residents to come out and express their opinions on the matter.
“So at the community forum we had four different types of walls shown: murals, mosaics, relief walls and green walls,” explained Halpburn.
While most people are familiar with murals and mosaics, the latter two are increasing in popularity, said Halpburn. Relief walls are 3D art installations set upon walls while a green wall is an artistic use of plants and greenery to cover a wall. Halpburn pointed to Semiahmoo Library’s green wall as a good example of what might be possible elsewhere in the city.
During the forum, Halpburn said a fifth option was also brought up by a member of the public: digital projection walls.
“There was a digital artist there so he talked a bit about what he did in projecting art onto blank walls,” explained Halpburn. “Those would be non-permanent installations.”
Those interested in submitting their opinions on the city’s art walls are asked to fill out a questionnaire. Deadline for feedback is Nov. 15.
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