Bright red beavers building a SkyDam in Richmond
24 March 2016
A bright red family of beavers industriously weaving a shiny white dam has found a home high over Richmond’s busy No. 3 Road at the Brighouse Canada line station.
SkyDam, created by artist Nathan Lee, is part of the Art Plinth exhibition, designed to bring some vibrancy and art to the otherwise blank and bland end of the Canada Line’s concrete guideway. The new exhibit was installed early Thursday morning, March 24.
A beloved national symbol, the industrious beaver has altered landscapes and influenced the development of agriculture, industry and human settlement throughout Canada. This sculpture pays homage to the industriousness of Richmond and provides a startling contrast to the hustle and flow of commuters moving in and out of the transit station below.
The artwork will be on display until December 2016. While it may serve as a place marker, SkyDam might inspire residents and visitors to consider future uses of the site as part of an ongoing transformation of the City Centre. Future developments will provide an opportunity for a public plaza as an extension of the Brighouse Station and will include permanent public artworks.
SkyDam is the second temporary artwork to be installed as Art Plinth exhibition.
The City of Richmond acknowledges the support of InTransit BC and TransLink in allowing access to the Canada Line guideway to install the Art Plinth projects.
The public is invited to submit comments on the new artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org Or via Twitter @Richmond_BC by using one or more of the following hashtags, #artplinth, #skydam or #richmondpublicart.
About the artist
Vancouver artist Nathan Lee, of Contexture Design, emphasizes simple, elegant and sustainable design, and is often inspired by materials with historical, cultural or environmental significance. Contexture is a noun that refers to an interwoven structure or fabric. Nathan’s work weaves together threads of place, history, culture and ecology into playful, richly layered objects of art and design. He celebrates overlooked natural and cultural systems with a “heavy but light” approach that seeks to engage meaningful social and ecological concepts with humour and whimsy. By understanding the unique qualities of site and materials, projects are, on one hand, refined and richly laden with local meaning, and on the other hand, buildable, durable and responsive to the practical demands of interior and exterior public art.
About Richmond Public Art
Richmond’s Public Art Program creates opportunities for artists to enhance public spaces across the city though a commitment to strong urban design, investment in public art and place making. The Richmond City Centre Public Art Plan confirmed a desire by Richmond residents to see art that is big, bold, interactive and urban. The Art Plinth is an opportunity to present large scale signature works in the City Centre to serve as landmarks, meeting places and a reminder that public art can enhance public spaces to define and create a sense of place.
The Richmond City Centre Public Art Plan identifies a wide range of art opportunities for the City Centre. Through extensive workshops and focus groups, it was revealed that Richmond’s unique past is important to current residents. Richmond: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is the thematic framework within which artists have designed their work.
For more information on Richmond Public Art, visit the City website at