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Art on memorial benches could become a reality in Vancouver

Last Updated Jul 19, 2019 at 11:19 am PDT

Julia Gudkova paints a memorial bench near Kits Beach on June 27, 2019 Travis Prasad/ CityNews
Summary

You could be seeing more art on benches around Vancouver if the Park Board passes a motion on the subject on Monday

Park Board commissioner wants to look at options after a bench was painted by woman in honour of late partner

Park Board is set to consider on Monday whether park benches should be turned into works of public art

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Making dedicated benches in Vancouver works of art may soon be allowed.

A Park Board commissioner wants to look at options after a bench, which sparked debate across the city, was painted by a woman in honour of her late partner.

That bench dedicated to Colin MacKay, who died four years ago, would be left as is, art and all, on an interim basis as the board figures out a wider solution, if a motion set to go to a vote next week passes.

Commissioner Tricia Barker says she wants to see if other benches could be painted — or artistically enhanced in some other way.

“We don’t want someone to come along and put graffiti on something,” she explains. “But if you’re an artist and have an idea for something, I think that there should be a system where you can put that forward to see if that’s something that can get approved in a park.”

As for whether family members of the person a bench honours could potentially be the artists, Barker says it’s a possibility.

“I mean, why not. I would assume that it would have to be curated and approved and all these others pretty obvious things we would have to do if something, if art is being added into a park,” she says.

Memorial benches may not be the end of art in parks either — Barker hopes to look at more opportunities, too.

“What we found out is that there is a great public response on the type of memorials we have around the city, and the artistic endeavors that we also have been putting in parks.”

The motion is set to go to the board on Monday evening.