Animals, bugs and other creatures hand-crafted out of twigs are now scattered throughout six Chilliwack parks as part of a public art installation.
A total of 32 organic art pieces, made by Burnaby-based artist Nickie Lewis, have been attached to trees, hydro poles and other structures throughout the city.
This style of art is made out of locally and ethically sourced boughs and twigs, and each piece includes metal clasping and a weather-resistant coating to extend their lifespan, the City of Chilliwack stated in a press release.
The city commissioned Lewis to create the pieces which include fantasy creatures, birds, bugs, sea creatures, and exotic animals. They’ve been divided into themes and installed at Townsend Park, the Landing, Vedder Park, Salish Park, Central Community Park and Yarrow Community Park.
“There are 32 sculptures hidden amongst six parks for you to seek out,” Lewis said. “They are tricky to find as some have been installed on trees.”
She’s created a huge variety of creatures including a pangolin, rhino beetle, narwhal, various birds and a ‘fizzard’ (fox/lizard).
“Something for everyone,” she said.
The organic art concept was put forward for council approval on March 16, 2021, following a recommendation by the Chilliwack Public Art Advisory Committee.
“Incorporating art into our parks is just one way to make our greenspaces even more beautiful and entertaining,” said councillor Sue Knott, chair of the Public Art Advisory Committee. “These whimsical pieces will delight park users without detracting from Chilliwack’s natural beauty.”
The pieces cost $3,000 per location, or $18,000 in total including all taxes and installation.
“I’d like to give my sincerest thanks to the Ch’illiwack Community Arts Council for connecting me with this opportunity, and to the City of Chilliwack for allowing me the creative freedom to make these weird and wonderful creations,” Lewis said.
The Chilliwack Public Art Policy was adopted by Council in 2014. The purpose of the policy is to promote and facilitate the integration of public art throughout Chilliwack. To learn more about the City’s Public Art Policy, visit chilliwack.com/publicart.