PUBLIC ART

The City of New Westminster's Public Art Program is administered by the City’s Art Services staff, reporting to the Chief Administrative Officer. Art Services staff provide leadership in the planning, coordination and implementation of public art for the City in alignment with the Public Art Policy.

Land Acknowledgement

We recognise and respect that New Westminster is on the unceded and unsurrendered land of the Halkomelem speaking peoples. We acknowledge that colonialism has made invisible their histories and connections to the land. As a City, we are learning and building relationships with the people whose lands we are on.

About Public Art

In 2012, the City of New Westminster adopted its first Public Art Policy which lays out the foundation for creating an exciting and engaging Public Art Program. The goals of this Policy promote and encourage diverse and inclusive opportunities that help animate the urban landscape, nurture civic dialogue and support the development and growth of the arts in the city. 

What's New?

PUBLIC ART PLAN (coming soon)

PUBLIC ART POLICY

PUBLIC ART REGISTRY

CALLS AND OPPORTUNITIES

ARTIST ROSTER 2024-2026

MURALS

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Image credit: birds on a branch by Metz & Chew

For Completed Projects please check out our Registry. Projects in Progress are below.

  • Brookfield Properties is developing a residential tower at 810 Agnes Street and is supporting the design and construction of a park on City-owned land adjacent to the tower. Funding for this project includes additional contributions for public art to be integrated into the overall design of the park.
     
    The new park is located at 824 Agnes Street, the former site of the Chinese Benevolent Association (CBA) and in a neighbourhood known as the second Chinatown in New Westminster. The Agnes Street Park will celebrate and pay tribute to the municipality’s early Chinese Canadian community as part of an ongoing Chinese reconciliation process.
     
    In 2023, artist Karen Tam was selected for her concept proposal that "draws inspiration from archival photographs and documents, creating a visual narrative that bridges the past, present, and future of this site. It reflects on the history and stories of the Chinese community in New Westminster, where the CBA building served as a hub and space to bring together family, kinsfolk, and friends, in its incarnations as a Chinese hospital, Chinese school, and meeting hall."
     
    ARTIST STATEMENT
    Over the past twenty years, my work has focused on the various forms of constructions and imaginations of cultures and communities through my sculptures and installation projects in which I recreate spaces of Chinese restaurants and other sites of cultural encounters. I look at how the corporeal experience of space allows one to understand its history and community. Working with a wide range of concepts, materials, techniques, and collaborations to create over 40 immersive installations, socially-engaged artworks, and public art projects, has given me the tools to successfully integrate artworks within museal, architectural, and public spaces, including Swallowing Mountains (2023), Dragons Chasing the Moon (2022/23), Place des souhaits /Arbre à souhaits (2021), and Blood and Tears (2018). A deep engagement with archival and collections research has also led me to question whose histories get to be collected and told, and to interrogate the narratives that have been constructed around the Chinese diaspora. How do we remember, represent, support, and simultaneously deny the erasures of our stories, spaces, and community? By actively bringing to light overlooked aspects of Chinese Canadian communities and culture through my artwork, my intent is to create counterpoints to accepted canons, official histories, public archives and collections.
     
     
     
    Image Credit: Grove of Wild Bamboo and Sweet Peas 竹盛豆苗青 (conceptual rendering detail) by Karen Tam
     
  • The Irving House Artist in Residence Pilot was a partnership between Public Art and the City of New Westminster Museum & Archives. Two artists, Janet Wang and Holly Schmidt were invited to explore and experiment in response to the site and surroundings of the Irving House. Artists were encouraged to investigate the stories and narratives of one of British Columbia's oldest post-contact historic community sites, and to engage in dialogues that deepen a shared understanding of the role of these historic sites in our current context.

    The residency aims to support artists with time, space, resources to further their research, interests and overall artistic practice. It also seeks to generate new observations or perspectives, and facilitate meaningful and contemporary public art responses to the understanding of place and the overall context of Irving House.

    Artists were invited to propose their own conceptual approaches to the residency that best meet the needs of their practice and initiate reciprocal exchanges with the areas' communities, museum and public art staff, and to share their thinking and working processes through public events/talks.

    Artists for the 2023 pilot residency program were selected from the public art program Artist Roster.

    This residency ran from June to October 2023.

    The artists created temporary public art interventions that can be found on the grounds of the Irving House, on the windows of the adjacent annex building and inside the House. The artworks will be on display from April 2024 - April 2025.

    Check out Holly Schmidt's Weeds of Cultivation  on our Registry.

    Check out Janet Wang's Arrangements and AR monuments on our Registry.

     

    About the Artists:

    Holly Schmidt

    Janet Wang

     

     

     
  • Hanna Benihoud was commissioned to design an integrated public artwork at the Boundary Road Drainage Pump Station. Design-only opportunities allow for artists to collaborate with the design team to include public art in the overall concept of the space. 

    "The idea is simple. The Pump Station design team is to be lead by a group of 6-9 year olds. The pump station will be will be a piece that embodies the inhibitions of youth and the magic of imagination." - Hanna Benihoud

    Through a series of workshops, Benihoud facilitated the collection of ideas from children, which were then integrated into the project with the help of architects, landscape architects, and engineers. The design features imaginative elements such as gargoyles and a colourful landscape. Gargoyles, originating in the medieval period, were designed as ornate waterspouts to divert rainwater away from the sides of buildings, merging practicality with Gothic architectural aesthetics. The New Westminster Gargoyles, whimsically designed by children, engage in playful antics while the pump station diligently safeguards the surrounding community. A vibrant quilt enveloping both the site and its structures transitions from fluid to orderly patterns, mirroring the pump station's own rhythm of operation. This imaginative approach has resulted in a landmark that is both a functional piece of infrastructure and a testament to the potential of collaborative, inclusive design practices.
     

    More about the Artist

     

  • The New Westminster Public Library was recently renovated to address the aging infrastructure and the growing and changing library services demands. Over 250,000 people were visiting the library every year, borrowing over 600,000 items, with a greater diversity in the use of library spaces and community needs.  The much-needed renovations resulted in facility infrastructure, building performance and systems upgrades such as replacement of all HVAC ducting and accessibility upgrades to washrooms and public areas.  In addition, public space improvements include a new technology learning centre, a quiet study and meeting room, a dedicated teen space, expanded seating capacity, and more efficient public service desks.
     
    Through the City of New Westminster’s Public Art Policy, funding was set aside to include a public art project. A Call to Artist was issued in 2022 seeking a professional artist or artist team to create an artwork in any medium with a maximum total budget of $50,000, plus GST. Individual artists or artist teams/collectives working in any medium and who are at various stages of their careers may apply. Local artist, Rain Pierre was the selected by a selection panel through a one stage process.
     
    The artist is currently developing his concept for the Library. An artist talk was held at Library in May 2023 to introduce artist to the community.
     
    A competition seeking artistic submissions from the community will inform the final project. Submissions are due June 26, 2023. Find details here.
     
    Completion of project is planned for June 2024.
     
  • ​Learn more about the artworks commissioned over the years:

    Explore the Registry through self-guided tours: