Guest Post - Road Art Critique

by: Heather on 10/23/2009
Posted in: Guest Posts

This Friday smile just in from New Society Publisher's own fabulous Jean Wyenberg - a critique of the anonymous road art which graces not only Gabriola, but highways and byways the world over. Thanks Jean!

I really feel that I must give credit to a special breed of artist that seems to be proliferating here on Gabriola - and that is the Anonymous Roadside Art Installations group - otherwise known as the ARAI. Gabriolans walking, riding, cycling or driving our roads get free viewings of these installations year round. The artists use different mediums and the mediums come in a variety of containers - glass, aluminum or plastic - with aluminum being the favorite choice. Interestingly the medium itself is actually ingested by the artist before the container is installed on the roadside or in the ditch. (This is an art technique that I am sure the local constabulary would be very interested in seeing in action.)

The ARAI group are a humble lot and would prefer not to receive any public notice - doing their creating out of view whenever possible. Art appreciation is of course subjective and every individual has different tastes and preferences. I myself, prefer the organic, unadorned kind of roadside art - trees, grass, pinecones, twigs, moss - and find the glitz and glimmer of bottles and cans distracting...but that is just me. I admit that I have recently invaded the space of the ARAI group and absconded with some of their installations in order to create one of my own - pictured here.

 

I hope you like it. If you look closely you will see that there is quite a variety of containers here, but the most prolific ARAI member seems to prefer to use the Lucky Lager brand (with a fine representation of Kokanee in both glass and aluminum). I personally have been encountering the Lucky Lager installations for years. In fact just a couple of days after I did my removal, lo and behold! Our doughty artist had deposited another!

The purpose of this article is to attempt to give these ARAI members the kind of public recognition they so richly deserve. I am sure I am not the only Gabriolan who has encountered these installations and we do know that most artists are and should be proud of the work they do. So, ARAI members - make yourselves known to us! And if you still cannot bring yourselves to accept the kind of attention you are due... perhaps you could leave our roadsides to the more organic art forms.

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