A public art proposal featuring rainbow birds got the green light at city hall on the recommendation of the public art advisory committee.
The rainbow birds are destined to sit atop the Clock Tower at Five Corners, and they were approved by council Tuesday (March 16) along with a series of “organic” artworks to be installed in Chilliwack parks on city-owned lights.
Those two items were part of three public art proposals considered by city council that afternoon, but the ‘Meetcha at the 5’ proposal was referred back to the public art committee.
“The rainbow coloured bird project would have fourteen life-size birds, two of each colour of the rainbow and in various poses to add variety,” according to the staff report.
Council turned thumbs-down to a rainbow crosswalk proposal when it came before them in 2019, but this art proposal with a rainbow colour scheme did find favour as a way of introducing “more public art into the community,” according to the report.
The multi-coloured birds would be commissioned by a manufacturer, at a estimated cost of $800 each.
Coun. Bud Mercer asked what material they would made from to make them $800 each, and was told “metal” and that part of the cost includes installation.
The birds would be affixed to the top or mid platform of the Clock Tower at Five Corners for a total cost of $12,000, according to the staff report.
The “organic art” proposal was for $3,000 each at six different park locations, including the The Landing, Vedder, Central, Kinsman, Townsend and Yarrow.
When council discussed the rainbow bird proposal, they touched on maintenance aspects, cost, location, and what will happen if they get covered in bird droppings.
Public art committee chair Sue Knott said there was due diligence done to find the most “cost-effective, safe solution” for the metal birds in rainbow colours with the paint burnished onto the metal to prevent power-washing damage.
“There was some conversation about having one on a lamp standard lower down,” said Coun. Knott. “But it was felt it would make it vulnerable to theft.”
The birds will all be a little bit different, she added, and they will be sturdy.
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