A local credit union branch is getting a new look this fall, with a redesign that includes new, original art.
Vancity put out a call for art proposals earlier this summer for one large piece and three smaller pieces to be displayed at its South Burnaby branch, at 5064 Kingsway Ave.
Robi Smith, a Vancouver-based visual artist who's first home was in Burnaby, has been commissioned to create one of the three smaller art pieces to be displayed in the branch community room.
Smith does a lot of hiking in Burnaby, and her proposal reflects an understanding of the natural environment of the area, said Richard Seres, vice-president of marketing for Vancity.
"We wanted somebody who understood the community, - and we wanted to support the local art community as well."
For her piece, Smith will receive $1,500 from the credit union.
She said she's happy to have been one of five artists chosen out of the 146 who submitted applications for commissions.
"Oh, I'm thrilled," she said. "For me, it's an opportunity to try something a little bit different, and certainly something that's grounded in a specific community, which I think is really interesting. And my family does have history (in Burnaby), so I'm interested in looking at it through that lens as well."
Smith is a painter and collage artist with a studio in East Vancouver.
Most of her work is based on the natural environment of the West Coast, particularly the ocean and sea life.
For her collage work, she uses paper items like receipts, maps, pages from history books and from brochures to piece together an image.
For the Vancity piece, she will use these items to portray an image of the natural landscape in South Burnaby.
"So when you look at it, you'll see from afar an image of being in the ravine, and when you look up closely, you'll see the street names and the words and everything will come through," she said of the collage that will be 91 cm (36 inches) high by 61 cm (24 inches) wide.
With the aim of attaining LEED Gold C.I. certification for the new building, Vancity gave preference to submissions that propose to incorporate recycled, sustainably sourced, salvaged and other natural media.
The art work must also be made of environmentallyfriendly material that is not "off-gassing."
Seres said the five art pieces, including Smith's, will be on display when branch renovations are completed sometime later this fall.