Community Papers

Ambleside studio gets a splash of colour with public art

Artist Richard Tetrault’s stands beside Passages, a frieze display of marine plywood banded around the exterior walls of Lawson Creek Studios in Ambleside. - Submitted
Artist Richard Tetrault’s stands beside Passages, a frieze display of marine plywood banded around the exterior walls of Lawson Creek Studios in Ambleside.
— image credit: Submitted

The new colourful images on the outside of Ambleside’s Lawson Creek Studios will brighten the most rainy days.

Vancouver-based artist Richard Tetrault created Passages, a frieze display of wood panels made from marine plywood banded around the exterior walls.

Both functional and symbolic, the plywood is used to build ships and references West Vancouver’s historical relationship with the sea.

The wood panels feature a crow at sunset, a logger standing on a large tree stump, rippling waves and other West Coast scenes.

Passages was commissioned by the District of West Vancouver’s public art program. Tetrault was chosen because he is known for exploring life within contemporary urban settings and his track record of exhibiting both locally and internationally.

“The purpose of the public art program is to enrich community vitality by providing meaningful public artwork that engages residents,” says cultural program coordinator Glenn Olav Madsen.

“Passages accomplishes this­. It is a colourful visual narrative that symbolizes essential elements of West Vancouver’s past and present.”

Tetrault (pictured at left) gets much of his inspiration from living on the Downtown Eastside.

“The immediate urban environment and its shifting terrain in a collage of images and encounters that are both edgy and full of primal vitality,” he writes on his website

“I find visual narratives within the landscape, and at the same time improvise on observed reality, exposing the layers that can be found within the seemingly commonplace.”

Tetrault finds his starting point for many paintings while travelling. Recent monotypes, for example, reflect his experience on Cuban streets and the Havana cityscape.

“My mural projects are a reflection of city streets and life, as well as of the creative spirit of the community,” he continues.

Tetrault also included an image of West Van icon John Lawson, a couple in a boat and abstract elements inspired by B.C. Binning, an acclaimed artist who lived in West Van form the 1940s to 1970s.

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