Public art

Public art at the North Vancouver City Library was included in the original building design and can be seen throughout the library. The artwork maintenance and development is facilitated through the North Vancouver Public Art Program. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind work meant to reflect the culture, heritage and environment of the North Shore.

Macro image of a Coast Salish weaving in the library

Honouring our Former Leaders, 2023 
Honouring our Ancestors, 2023

Artists: Chepximiya Siyam’ Chief Janice George and Skwetsimeltxw Willard (Buddy) Joseph

These two Coast Salish weavings are installed in the library’s cafe connection space. The red, green and black triangles in the south piece represent the amalgamation of the three Squamish reserves, Sen̓ákw, Squamish Valley and Sunshine Coast, and 16 families (or Bands) into one Squamish Nation on July 23, 1923. The north piece is inspired by the woven design in the robes worn by Sa7plek Chief Joe Capilano.

Weaving is one of the oldest creative arts used by Coast Salish peoples throughout the Northwest Coast. In addition to their practicality to combat the cold, blankets serve many purposes: they indicate the social status of the wearer; they can be used as currency; they provide spiritual protection and are used in ceremony.

“You should think about blankets as merged objects. They are alive because they exist in the spirit world. They are the animal. They are part of the hunter; they are part of the weaver; they are part of the wearer.”

—  Chepximiya Siyam’ Chief Janice George

Macro image of Marianne Nicolson's glass artwork

My People Will Rise Up (Like a Thunderbird from the Sea), 2009

Artist: Marianne Nicolson

Marianne Nicolson’s carved glass mural is installed in the circular space leading from the underground parkade to the upper level of Civic Plaza on the west side of the building. The carving style mimics aboriginal petroglyphs found along the west coast that were created to record significant events and mark places of spiritual importance. 

portion of digital mural showing illustrations of a hiker with a map, a dog, a bear, and natural landscape

City Library interactive mural, 2022

Artist: Erica Phillips 

Inspired by the flora and fauna of the North Shore, muralist and multimedia artist Erica Phillips (Phil Phil Studio) designed the interactive mural at The piece is a collaborative project between Phillips and the team at Weaver Co-op, who animated and coded the elements. The animated pieces (e.g. the Amanita muscaria mushrooms), link to items in the library's catalogue or to info about exploring and learning about the North Shore. 

Tree branches that look like they were drawn in sand

Tree of Knowledge, fragments, 2008

Artists: Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew

Engraved images carved into bluestone suggest fragments of a magnificent tree — shadows of the Tree of Knowledge. Dappled amongst the imagery are literary quotes selected by library donors. Each piece contributes to the whole, while remaining individual, representing the imprint of the community on the plaza.

Top view of hanging circular sculpture with text illuminated on it

Wilbur’s Web, 2008

Artist: Alan Storey

Wilbur’s Web is a kinetic artwork consisting of a cross beam that straddles the North Vancouver City Library’s two interior light wells. Suspended from each end of the beam is a large custom built LED screen that moves up and down through the space. During the journey, words and phrases are subtlety revealed on the screens. The art work suggests that the volume of space contained in the light wells is a virtual three-dimensional library housing fixed objects, words, text, language and pictures not visible to the human eye.

ANDDNA artwork on the window of the children's department

Iain Baxter& exhibit

Artist: Iain Baxter&

Contemporary artist Iain Baxter& has several window signage pieces on display in City Library. The works pay homage to Baxter&’s fascination with the ampersand. In 2005, he legally changed his name from Iain Baxter to Iain Baxter& to include the ampersand. 

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