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Pushing for a public art policy in Chilliwack

Ross Scofield is one of 30 people who helped with a public art mural on the side of Prospera Centre painted by members of the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association in the summer of 2012. - JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE
Ross Scofield is one of 30 people who helped with a public art mural on the side of Prospera Centre painted by members of the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association in the summer of 2012.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE

A new group wants to have a public art policy included in the city's Official Community Plan.

Calling itself, There 4 Art, the ad hoc group has strong support from the local art community and members of the Chilliwack Visual Artists' Association.

"Having a public art policy adopted by the City of Chilliwack would make it official," said Sylvie Roussel-Janssens, a local artist and spokesperson for There 4 Art. "It would be a statement that they endorse the concept."

Public art, like the Piper Richardson statue in front of the Chilliwack Museum for example, can foster a sense of community and public pride.

"It can create a sense of beauty in the city, a sense of being involved and caring about where we live," she said.

There 4 Art has met about four times so far, and they're at the stage where they're encouraging friends, fellow artists and the community to write letters to elected city officials expressing their views about public art.

"They could describe an example of some great public art they saw on a trip," she said.

Roussel-Janssens has posted some images from sites around the world on the Facebook page, Life in the Wack, and has been getting some positive reactions.

"We're not there to reinvent the wheel. So many models already exist elsewhere in the province as to how to do this," she said.

They've recently narrowed their mission statement to the following: "Lobbying the City of Chilliwack to incorporate public art into the Official Community Plan."

The next meeting is tentatively set for Feb. 20. For more details, email lsc@telus.net

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

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