When art is created with intriguing detail and personality, it draws me in every time. The temporary art that pops up in Nanaimo’s downtown and Maffeo Sutton Park each year is some of my favourite to take in and to photograph. From materials to presentation, there is a lot to look at, and I find that different angles tend to offer a different experience with each piece.
Earlier this summer, before I realized the new art pieces were installed, the #Hungry Bunny stood out like a cartoon character come-to-life. The bold pink is impossible to miss against the green grass of the park, and the blue sky of a sunny summer day. The artists on this piece drew their inspiration from the rising population of feral rabbits. Are Nanaimo’s bunnies cute or a nuisance? Right now that may be debatable, and this piece certainly inspires some deep bunny thought.
* #Hungry Bunny, Artist: Dale (Dasch) Schulz
Meet Me at the Blue Flowers in MacGregor Park across from the Port Theatre, is also a sculpture made of metal, and makes great use of metallic shine and blue glass to draw in attention. This is one of my favourite locations for temporary art, with the waterfront and boats in the background, and the historic clock beside it. These large and sparkling blue flowers seem right at home here, and yes, the flowers do help make this a great meeting place.
* Meet Me at the Blue Flowers, Artist: Deryk and Samuel Houston
Another painted steel creature looks out at the water from Maffeo Sutton Park. Lunar Flyer is a great horned owl and is about to take hold of an unwitting mouse. There is a lot of realism in this representation, and given that horned owls are nocturnal, they are common but rare to see. This piece of art is a great reminder of their presence.
* Lunar Flyer, Artist: Heather Wall
Portal is another symbolic piece, but this art is made stronger by its creative story. This structure is a steel frame completely wrapped with pieces of discarded rope provided by a local log salvor. Making old new again, this artist takes materials and reuses them in a very thoughtful way here.
* Portal, Artist: Heather Passmore
There are more temporary and permanent art structures around downtown and Maffeo Sutton Park, enhancing the parks energy and appeal. You can visit www.nanaimo.ca and click through Visitors – Public Art to access more information, and even a smartphone app that will use your phone’s gps to guide you to the nearest masterpiece. So head out for a stroll through Maffeo-Sutton Park and Nanaimo's downtown, and enjoy some of the 169 public art projects that Nanaimo has to offer!