New Westminster – The City of New Westminster is pleased to welcome a new addition to its public art collection, Welcome to the Zoo by Vancouver-based artist, Nathan Lee. Comprised of four sets of deconstructed powder coated steel animals placed within raised planter beds, the artwork references the history of the former Queen’s Park Zoo. Visitors and users to the recently completed Sportsplex at Queen’s Park can enjoy the artwork from multiple perspectives as they sit and move through the unique plaza space near its entrance.
This timely installation explores the interesting relationship that early settlers had to wildlife and re-contextualizes it within our modern world. “With lockdowns across the globe, CO2 emissions have dropped off and nature has reintroduced itself into our cities. This is a unique time for reflection and a rare opportunity to reexamine our current relationship with the natural world,” said the artist.
“The artwork draws attention to the impact that human activity has had on the natural world and perfectly aligns with the driving principles behind the construction of the Sportsplex around environmental sustainability,” said Mayor Jonathan Coté.
“This beautiful and thoughtful artwork affirms our belief that public art speaks not only of our past but projects our vision for the future,” said Councillor Mary Trentadue who is the Council representative on the New Westminster Public Art Advisory Committee.
For more information on the City of New Westminster public art program please visit the City website: www.newwestcity.ca/artservices
Nathan Lee was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. With over a decade and a half of design and fabrication experience, he is sensitive to the unique qualities of site and materials to create refined and richly laden projects with local meaning. As a craftsman he has shaped wood, molded concrete, and engineered paper. His work emphasizes simple, elegant, and sustainable design, and is often inspired by materials and place with historical, or environmental significance. He has received public art commissions from numerous municipalities including Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, North Vancouver and Port Moody and has also exhibited work at nationally recognized venues such as the Royal Ontario Museum, The Museum of Vancouver, and the Design Exchange.