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.
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 artwork is inspired from an excerpt of Chief Dan George’s speech, “A Lament for Confederation,” given on the occasion of Canada’s centennial in 1967:
"Like the thunderbird of old I shall rise again out of the sea; I shall grab the instruments of the white man’s success — his education, his skills, and with these new tools, I shall build my race into the proudest segment of your society…So shall we shatter the barriers of our isolation. So shall the next hundred years be the greatest in the proud history of our tribes and nations."
The carving style mimics aboriginal petroglyphs found along the west coast that were created to record significant events and mark places of spiritual importance.
Read more about this piece on the North Vancouver Recreation and Culture website
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 www.nvcl.ca. The piece is a collaborative project between Phillips and the team at Weaver Co-op, who animated and coded the elements. The animated pieces, like the amanita muscaria mushrooms, link to items in the library's catalogue or to info about exploring and learning about the North Shore.
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 personally selected by library donors. Each piece contributes to the whole, while remaining individual, representing the imprint of the community on the plaza.
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.
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.