SCA student art takes root in Oceanic Plaza

July 08, 2019

First-year visual arts students in SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts (SCA) have transformed eight planter boxes in the Oceanic Plaza space at 1066 West Hastings St. in Vancouver—a project to make people feel welcome and engaged.

The student-designed artwork was printed on vinyl wraps and applied to the planter boxes to add colour and visual interest to the plaza.

SCA professor Dave Biddle says his students had been studying the broad theme of representation through semiotics in cultural practices—examining how images function in public space and convey meaning within specific cultural contexts. Through the project, students have put the concepts of representation and public space into practice.

The project is a joint initiative between the School for the Contemporary Arts, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA)Oxford Properties, and SFU’s Vancouver campus. It is also one of the DVBIA’s placemaking projects (which include revitalizing laneways and decorating electrical boxes) to improve public spaces around Downtown Vancouver and inspire happiness, safety and community-building.

Two of the eight planter boxes decorated by SCA students on display at Oceanic Plaza at 1066 West Hastings St. in Vancouver.

This is the third collaboration between the DVBIA and SFU students. In 2017, SCA students painted the hoarding around the Harbour Centre building during renovations, and in 2018, students decorated and repurposed 11 unused newspaper boxes into Little Free Libraries.

The DVBIA works with its members and local stakeholders to identify opportunities to incorporate art into public spaces and enhance existing spaces through seasonal programming and projects to create vibrant, welcoming spaces for people to enjoy.

This story originally appeared in SFU News.