An empty laneway in south-east Vancouver is transforming into a work of art and a space for the community to come together.
The alley at Fraser Street and 46th Avenue is hard to miss – a blinding shade of hot pink and sharply contrasting jet-black stripes.
“We like these colours. It’s not just to shock people, but we did understand it would have that impact,” said artist Jinhan Ko.
The City of Vancouver commissioned several murals last year for its 125th anniversary.
This piece is a public installation created by art collective Instant Coffee, in partnership with the Vancouver 125 Mural Program, South Hill Business Association and curated by the Other Sights for Artists’ Projects. It is titled – aptly for Vancouver – Nothing Happens In Good Weather.
“West coast furniture” to be included
The installation will be complete by the end of March. Instant Coffee artists plan to add yellow and grey triangular awning as well as furniture.
“It’s what I consider ‘west coast modern’ furniture. They’re basically tree stumps,” said Ko. The furniture will be painted to match the vibrant alley.
“I’m sure once it becomes a seating place, everybody will enjoy it,” said Dolly Bains, president of the South Hill Business Association public art committee.
“We don’t have such spaces on Fraser Street. There are lots of people who appreciate it, there are others who think, ‘No, we don’t want anything like this,’” she said.
Positive feedback from community
Bains said that input was considered from the South Hill community and 85 per cent of feedback was positive.
“High end art might have people interested in looking at these things and appreciating [them],” she said.
Applications were accepted from all over Canada were accepted, but Instant Coffee was chosen because of their interest in bringing life to the community and improving the neighbourhood.
“I just love the fact that we were able to change this area so radically,” said Ko. “This project was an extension of the work we were doing before.”
Who are Instant Coffee?
Instant Coffee is an artist collective with four members based in Vancouver and two in Toronto.
They are currently working on a project in Edmonton and another in Richmond, having previously completed several in Canada and Europe.
Reported by Carly Rhianna Smith