Tag Archives: public art

Changing the Message – Willows Beach Portal

Does Public Art have to be static & unchanging? Sometimes it can transition & morph into something more.

Portal, Public Art, Willows Beach, Oak Bay, Victoria, Heather Passmore
photo by SVSeekins

Portal, a sculpture along Willows Beach Esplanade, was initially installed as a large open ring framing the horizon like a portal on a ship. The reclaimed rope reminds me of so much flotsam lost at sea. Used as seating to perch on & grasping the rope frame for balance changes the artwork from a view to an experience. Not just a piece to look at— this art is a sculpture to view the world from.
I like the artist’s multi-dimensional messages.

Portal, Public Art, Willows Beach, Oak Bay, Victoria, Heather Passmore
photo by SVSeekins

Two years after the art installation, the open ring has morphed into a dream catcher. I reckon it still frames the view but now the message says so much more to me. The piece is still beautiful to look at & to view the world through but it has added layers…
It catches the sunrise, protecting us all from bad dreams. (We certainly need some of that with the exposure of residential school nightmares swirling around us!)

I like this, too, and wonder,
“Was the original artist expanding on her idea?”
Apparently not. Oak Bay Parks says they don’t know who in our community added to the Portal, but it wasn’t the artist.

Portal, Public Art, Willows Beach, Oak Bay, Victoria, Heather Passmore
photo by SVSeekins

Another year on, baby dream catchers are appearing on the web.
Intriguing…
Who adds these?
Has the public taken to the Portal as our own public art gallery?

Portal, Public Art, Willows Beach, Oak Bay, Victoria, Heather Passmore
photo by SVSeekins

Perhaps it’s truly become a piece of Community Art that we contribute to ourselves! A message of public support & healing…

Now, this raises more questions:
Who controls Public Art? The artist? The city? The public?
Are these changes vandalism?
art appropriation?
— or a greater form of art?

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Street Library Parade

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Street Libraries have been in the news for a few years now. I’ve shown a few that I’ve run across (see the end of this article for a list of past posts). They’re so sweet, I’ll often stop to photograph them when I spot ’em. After my last article, I’d planned to write a couple more as I’d run across 2 new little libraries in our ‘hood. But then I kept finding more… and more. So I reckon it’s just time for a post of all the other little libraries I know of (& add to it as I find more.)

There are several Little Free Libraries on the southern slopes of Mt. Tolmie.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I reckon the folks who protect this door-less library are pretty kind to put the books into plastic boxes during the rainy season.

I quite liked how our neighbours created a library that matched the colours of their house. A year or two later, the house was sold & demolished. The little library disappeared shortly after. Maybe the new home that is built here will get a mini-me little library, too?

There’s one at Doncaster Elementary.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Another on the way to my dentist on Finlayson.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

There’s even one at the Church where my garden club meets.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Fernwood is on my cycling route to get downtown. It’s a friendly community with several Free Little Libraries.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by svseekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSEekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I especially like the one just north of the Belfry Theatre.

The folks on Ten Mile Point even supplied fresh water for the dog bowl. 🙂

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Cycling along the Lochside Trail through the Blenkinsop Valley, I found this Little Free Library. It’s especially nice of these folks to supply a path over the ditch & seats to rest on.

SP showed me this one in Vic West.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

This one is near Bow Park. I wonder if the construction crew built the Little Library at the same time as the house so they could match materials?.

These are from Oak Bay.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Others are even more colourful.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
Photo by L.Hume
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
Photo by L.Hume
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
Photo by L.Hume

Even a restaurant at Fort & Foul Bay Rd has a library

This one is from Langford.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by L. Hume

Another friend took these when she decided to donate her spare books to Little Free Libraries instead of selling them to the 2nd hand bookstore. I think she searched them out via a local map of Little Libraries.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.McMillan
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.McMillan
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.McMillan
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.Mcmillan
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.McMillan

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest

I’m pretty sure she’s dropped some books at this library, too. It’s in her neighbourhood & she’s the one who first showed it to me.

It seems we come across new little libraries every couple of weeks. Someone has even thought to put in a Little Food Pantry.

What will be available to exchange on our next walk?

3-31-2021

My sister found this street library in Rio Terrace, Edmonton, Alberta.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Edmonton, Alberta
photo by P L Dipanfilo

Why did the creators choose to make a van? Are they old hippies? Or do they have fond memories of reading books while on vacation in a groovy van? Check out the license plate. 🙂

6-30-2021

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P.S.  Here are some of the street libraries I’d already found:

Smile of the Day 3

There wasn’t time for a good look as we drove past…
So I asked the driver to turn around. I’m glad he did. Perhaps he got as big a smile out of seeing this happy little guy as I did.

Thanks to the creative folks who set this Jack-o’-lantern at the end of their driveway.

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