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  1. ssUntitled (Symbols for Education)

    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

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


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    Glenn Lewis, Classical Toy Boat (1987) Photo: Michael R. Barrick

Classical Toy Boat (1987) by Glenn Lewis

Official Launch: Thursday, June 23, 2016, 6-9 pm

Classical Toy Boat (1987) by Vancouver artist Glenn Lewis is the most recent outdoor artwork to be installed at UBC. This sculpture was initially located outside of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery on the Toronto waterfront in 1987 as part of the exhibition From Sea to Shining Sea. It was purchased by the Belkin Art Gallery in 2009 for the University Art Collection and restored in anticipation of its new location. Classical Toy Boat will be celebrated in conjunction with the opening reception on Thursday, June 23 for the Belkin’s upcoming exhibition, Becoming Animal/Becoming Landscape: Works from the Collection (June 24-August 14, 2016).

The site chosen for this work is the pool on the north side of University Centre (formerly the Faculty Club) designed by Frederic Lasserre with an addition by Arthur Erickson and landscape design by Cornelia Oberlander. The shape of the boat reflects the innocence of a child’s toy and the material, Italian Carrera marble, makes reference to classical Roman sculpture, a juxtaposition that lends this work a tone of humour. In spite of the weight of the marble, the boat conveys a spirit of resilience in that it defies gravity and magically hovers above the surface of the water. This work and its site provide a strong connection between the indoor spaces of the University Centre building and the outdoors—a visual punctuation to a subdued and discreet site. This work was originally conceived as a reference to temporary installations in the gardens at UBC undertaken in the late 1960s and early 70s by Lewis, Michael Morris, Gathie Falk, and others.

Born in Chemainus, BC in 1935, Glenn Lewis graduated from the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art + Design) in 1958 with honours in painting, drawing and ceramics. Subsequently, he studied ceramics under Bernard Leach in St. Ives (Cornwall, England) (1961–1964). He was an active member of the avant-garde art scene in Vancouver during the 1960s, producing work in video, performance, film, ceramics, photography, sculpture and writing that blurred the boundaries between media and between viewer and artist.

As one of the co-founders of the Western Front, Lewis initiated and administered the Video Program (1974–1976), curated the Performance Art Program (1977–1979), acted as arts administrator and program coordinator (1979–1987), initiated and coordinated the Computer-Integrated Media Program (1985–1987) and was Acting Director for three months in 1994. In addition, Lewis was head of the Media Arts Section of the Canada Council (1987–1990). Solo exhibitions include the Douglas Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Presentation House Gallery and the Belkin Satellite. Lewis lives and works in Vancouver.

Classical Toy Boat was purchased with the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program and the Morris and Helen Belkin Foundation. The installation was made possible with the support of the UBC Matching Fund for Outdoor Art. The work will add to an outdoor collection that includes recent acquisitions of works by Edgar Heap of Birds, Myfanwy MacLeod, Rodney Graham and Robert Murray.

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


  1. ssCumbria

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

  2. sscumbria.jpg

    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


  1. sstime machine detail

    Rodney Graham
    Millennial Time Machine: A Landau Carriage Converted to a Mobile Camera Obscura, 2003

  2. ssMillennial Time Machine exterior

  3. sstime machine sm

    View from inside the carriage

  4. sstime machine map

Millennial Time Machine

A Landau Carriage Converted to a Mobile Camera Obscura

Rodney Graham

Unveiled on June 25, 2003, this sculpture is the first work of art to be commissioned for the campus of University of British Columbia since 1976. Millennial Time Machine is a 19th century, horse drawn landau, whose carriage has been converted into a camera obscura. The camera obscura, which produces an image that is upside down and reversed, was an influential precursor to the modern, multi-lens camera. During the late 1500s to 1800s, the camera obscura was used as a model for explaining human vision and it stood as a model, in both rational and empiricist thought, of how observation leads to truthful inferences about the world. It was widely used as an instrument of scientific inquiry, artistic practice, and popular entertainment.

Millennial Time Machine is housed in a glass walled pavilion at the south-west corner of Main Mall and Memorial Road on the campus of the University of British Columbia. Positioned to overlook the landscaped bowl between Koerner Library and Main Library, the camera obscura focuses on a young sequoia tree that will grow to maturity. The tree and location are also meant to raise ideas about the university as a place where knowledge, technologies, and histories are constructed, and how this information is passed to generations of students.

Born in 1949 in Vancouver where he still lives and works, Rodney Graham is one of the most celebrated artists in the history of Canadian art. Among his recurring concerns are the camera and modern technologies of picture-making. For it is through the medium of photography that we now represent the world and what we used to call nature. Millennial Time Machine offers an image of hope for the future. It is also haunted by the idea of the disappearance of nature and the natural world as it becomes transformed into economy.

We gratefully acknowledge the Canada Council for the Arts Millennium Fund, the Morris and Helen Belkin Foundation, British Columbia 2000 Recognition Plan, and the University of British Columbia for their support of this project.

Design: Rodney Graham and superkül • Structural Engineer: Fast and Epp • Mechanical Engineer: The Sheltair Group Resource Consultants Inc. • Electrical Engineer: Pacific Rim Consultants Ltd. • Project Manager: Dianna Foldi, UBC Land and Building Services • Contractor: The Haebler Group General Contractors

The Millennial Time Machine is located at the corner of Main Mall and Memorial Road, University of British Columbia

For further information, or to book a tour please contact Public Programs at 604.822.3640

Outdoor Art Tour with Léa Toulouse, August 28, 2015
Rodney Graham’s Millennial Time Machine, 2003

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


  1. ssbelkin gallery copy.jpg

    Luis Camnitzer, The Museum is a School, 2010/2011

Luis Camnitzer

The Museum is a School

In this work located on the front façade of the Belkin Art Gallery, artist Luis Camnitzer explores the relationship between education and museums. Camnitzer sees his artistic practice and his role as an educator as one in the same; his work is often conceived in the hopes of expanding knowledge by encouraging people to be free in how they use their imagination and make connections between ideas. He has said that “Speculation should not just confirm knowledge but open it up to the unexpected.” By placing the museum in the role of the educator, Camnitzer challenges traditional modes of art appreciation in favor of an open process of questioning that is generated by the work of art. This billboard project is part of the touring exhibition, Luis Camnitzer, organized by Daros Lantinamerica, Zürich, and curated by Hans-Michael Herzog and Katrin Steffen. Before being installed at the Belkin Gallery, the billboard was exhibited at the El Museo del Barrio in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit. In each place, the billboard is reproduced with the institution’s own typography.

Luis Camnitzer is internationally recognized as a critic, educator, theorist and visual artist. Born in Lübeck, Germany in 1937, Camnitzer and his Jewish parents fled to Uruguay in 1939. He has lived and worked in New York since 1964. His work often deals with the ambiguities of identity, language, exile, imprisonment, and the experience of reality.

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


  1. ss

    Edgar Heap of Birds
    Native Hosts, 1991-2007

Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds

Native Hosts

Edgar Heap of Birds is an internationally known artist and scholar of Cheyenne and Arapaho descent. Native Hosts consists of 12 aluminum signs which make reference to the relationship between First Nations and British Columbia. They are sited at 12 different locations across the northwest sector of the UBC campus. On a white background in red text, British Columbia is spelled backwards followed by the phrase “Today your Host is,” and completed by one of twelve names of British Columbia Indian Bands. Heap of Birds employs the format of official public signage. Signs guide the way a person moves through public space and direct one’s behaviour. The viewer is prompted to consider and to potentially question their authoritative power. These signs use text in an imaginative and disconcerting way to stimulate thoughts about issues of history, public space, land claims, and even generosity and sharing.

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


  1. sswood steps sm

    Myfanwy MacLeod
    Wood for the People, 2002

Myfanwy MacLeod

Wood for the People

Myfanwy MacLeod lives in Vancouver and has frequently worked with the mythos of rural culture and its displacement within an urban imagination. Wood for the People consists of identical cast concrete logs stacked up against an architectural feature—its monochromatic non-functional presence renders it an architectural folly—romantic yet ironic by its transplantation into a formal gallery setting. Stacked along the entryway to the gallery, this symbol of a bucolic lifestyle assumes a defiant stance within the university environment.

Outdoor Art Tour with Léa Toulouse, August 28, 2015
Myfanwy MacLeod’s Wood for the People, 2002

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


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