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Ruins in Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties

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  1. Lionel Thomas and Patricia Thomas
    Untitled (Symbols for Education), 1958

UBC Outdoor Art Tour

The outdoor artworks at UBC are a source of aesthetic pleasure, commemorate histories and events, and introduce new ideas and possibilities into the campus environment. The new UBC Outdoor Art Tour features twenty-six sites including works from the University Art Collection, objects of interest, and artwork that has been commissioned or donated to specific departments and faculties. With detailed information on each work, biographical notes on the artists, a map and colour images, the tour invites visitors and members of the UBC community to experience the campus in a different way.

Self Guided Walking Tours

>> Download guide [PDF 1.8 MB]

>> UBC Outdoor Art Tour on Google Maps

>> Index of works

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689


  1. Artist's rendering of The Shadow

Esther Shalev-Gerz

The Shadow

Proposed public art installation on University Plaza in front of The Nest

PUBLIC LECTURE with Esther Shalev-Gerz at the Belkin Art Gallery: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 5:30 pm

In The Shadow, Esther Shalev-Gerz proposes to embed a ghostly shadow of a first-growth Douglas fir across the expanse of University Plaza, which is situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. Pixilated through the use of differing shades of paving stones, the shadow engages pedestrians through its varied texture and tone underfoot, yet does not reveal the entire form. As in the landscape, the totality of the tree can only be grasped from a distance: The Shadow requires a view from higher ground to be complete.

In the artist’s previous installations in public space, such as Monument Against Fascism or White Point/Meeting Point, specific sites are explored through investigating the horizontal plane. Rather than extend forms into vertical space, The Shadow, like these earlier works, presents an absence as a hovering memory beneath our feet.

Each tree carries a unique testimony of its history and surroundings. The Shadow reminds us of the scale of the trees that once existed on this site and illustrates the vast change that has taken place in a relatively short period of time. It establishes a dialogue between culture and nature, past and present and potential future.

Esther Shalev-Gerz is an internationally renowned artist. Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, she was raised in Jerusalem, Israel and has been residing in Paris since 1984, spending her summers on Cortes Island, BC. Her work investigates the construction of knowledge, history and cultural identities. She has exhibited internationally, amongst other places, in San Francisco, Paris, Berlin, Vancouver, Finland, Detroit, Geneva, Guangzhou and New York and created permanent projects in public space in Hamburg, Israel, Stockholm, Wanas, Geneva and Glasgow. For more information, visit the artist’s website

The Shadow is proposed for installation on University Plaza outside of The Nest, with on-campus installation set to begin in late 2017. Members of the public can give feedback about Shalev-Gerz’s proposal for The Shadow at an Open House Thursday, October 19 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in the lobby of the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre at UBC.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689


  1. Robert Murray, Cumbria, 1966-67
    corten steel 425 x 900 x 450 cm

  2. Robert Murray's Cumbria in transit, August 2015. Photo: Owen Sopotiuk

Robert Murray's Cumbria to be restored and re-sited

Cumbria (1966–67), by Robert Murray (born Vancouver, 1936), has been removed from its site between the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and the Lasserre Building for restoration and re-siting. This monumental Minimalist sculpture, weighing approximately twenty tonnes, became compromised from corrosion of the bolts that held it together. The sculpture will be sandblasted, repainted, and then installed at a new location to be announced in the near future.

Cumbria was first exhibited at Sculpture ’67, a visual art celebration of Canada’s centennial at Toronto City Hall, and then at Battery Park in New York City. It returned to Canada in 1969 and became a featured artwork at the newly opened Vancouver International Airport. It was removed from the Airport in 1993 and put into storage. In 1995, Vancouver artist Toni Onley campaigned to have it resurrected. As it was damaged during its move to storage, Transport Canada agreed to have the sculpture re-fabricated and donated it to the University of British Columbia, the first large-scale public artwork to enter the University Art Collection since 1975.

Robert Murray is well known internationally for his large-scale steel sculptures. Another of his iconic works was recently restored in Los Angeles under the auspices of the Getty Foundation.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689


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