Tag: inspiration

Award-winning filmmaker Nettie Wild’s cinematic art installation, ‘Uninterrupted’, screens nightly under the Cambie Street bridge. — Anthony Diehl photo

Unexpected gifts are often times the best gifts. Canadian Thanksgiving was a treat in that what followed were moments of unexpected gifts.

As a painter, I have “never been so good with the words” (insert surprised face here.) So I’ll do my best. Have you been to Vancouver BC lately? And if not, why not? I couldn’t answer that question either. As a Seattleite, I have no excuse. It’s been considerably longer than a couple decades since my last visit North. Luckily for us, after our loved ones moved North, we had new reasons to open our eyes/hearts to Vancouver. We strolled together on the “Seawall” along False Creek, taking in what nearly felt like an apres-ski scene filled with happy Canadians in the sun. Dogs nearly smiling and tails wagging everywhere. Standing in the sunshine, closing my eyes, taking deep breaths of the cool, crisp air made me happy to be alive. And then I realized, it’s probably not so smart to be doing that with two wonderful doggies on leashes both heading toward opposite greenery – splitting my arms into what may have looked like a bad, modern sculpture of the gymnast move “the Iron Cross” not with iron rings but with nylon dog leashes.

Moving on. Vancouver’s skyline! Their crisp, clean lines and playful twists in architecture, landscaping, even the bloody parking garages are gorgeous. How. How? Winding walkways and thoughtful areas encourage community engagement in a way I’ve not seen in a city neighborhood. It was something. Maybe it’s me. Maybe the Seattle Freeze is a thing. And yes, it freaked me out when someone would just come talk to me. One woman asked me a question about my canine entourage, I answered, she said “wow, that’s so great – I love you already”. What?! Excuse me? How funny. Interaction in public spaces. (Burke-Gilman compadres, be inspired, talk to people, it’s actually quite pleasant.)

Coming back to the most important parts, experiencing life and art with loved ones. A brilliant gift, for sure. Seeing a dad hug his daughter, a husband and wife lovingly laugh together, belated birthday celebrations, canine pals playing and having fun, a cooking show that was totally live – simply enjoying the mix of it. A personalized art gift was even brought back for family all the way from Tanzania. It is just one of the best feelings when you know someone was thinking about you as they traveled so far away.

This first-ever Canadian Thanksgiving had place settings to let everyone at the table know this was going to be special. We walked together along the water, we joked and shared ‘stuff’ on while it’s all great that we’re all busy and full throttle — but the key to it all is good health. Canadian Thanksgiving. Who knew.

Oh yes – the art – particularly the public art installations around False Creek were fantastic and contributed to the beauty. After walking about and seeing more art installations, we learned about some of the installations we recently missed.

Catch some inspiration here: https://www.straight.com/arts/926746/salmon-return-false-creek-cinematic-public-artwork-projected-concrete-cambie-bridge.

All in a little over 24 hours? What an unexpected gift.


Photo by Jeff Fusco Photography. Courtesy of the Association of Public Art.

Early this morning before the coffee hit and my to-do list was prioritized, I was sitting in a bit of grey space. Then in walks Cai Guo-Qiang – with his lovely, engaging humanity and light. There is something very simple and very special about this that I cannot yet articulate. Perhaps it’s the way it makes me feel like a little kid seeing bright hues glowing and buzzing about in a warm evening sky? Maybe I have always loved fireflies and this connection to others in a simple evening promenade on wheels is like flying a kite on a windy day – it’s pretty simple and it’s pretty great. Or perhaps it’s the awe I find in the art of the human spirit venturing inward and outward making our experiences richer and more connected? I can’t tell you why. But thank goodness for it.

Fireflies will give new life to our parkway at night and a sense of civic joy and happiness,” said Penny Balkin Bach, executive director and chief curator of the Association for Public Art. And I’d bet it absolutely does.

“I haven’t grown up,” Cai said. “The lanterns are like the fireworks of my childhood. It’s an explosion that can never be put out.”

It was a full day for me and it started off early with inspiration. See what inspiration looks like with the whole story on Artsy. And many thanks to Cai Guo-Qiang for taking us from observers of joy to participants in it.