A view of the new “Birds on a Branch” art on the Front Street parkade in New Westminster. (submitted photo)

‘Birds’ land on parkade fence across the river from Surrey

New piece among the largest public art installations in the region, says City of New West

One of region’s newest and largest pieces of public art has landed on a structure across the river from Surrey.

Woven into chain-link fence, “Birds on a Branch” is located on the Front Street parkade in New Westminster.

The commissioned work, by artists Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew, depicts a flock of songbirds resting on branches.

In a news release, the City of New Westminster calls it a “playful counterpoint to the industrial façade of the Front Street parkade.

“The chain-link fence canvas is approximately 660 feet long (by) 25 feet high, making it one of the largest public art installations in the region.”

The official opening of “Birds on a Branch” will be on July 7 at 5 p.m. at the Front Street Mews, as part of the city’s inaugural Fridays on Front event.

The art project has been in the planning for the past couple of years, according to a report in the New Westminster Record.

“New Westminster has always supported local artists, our creative sectors, and worked to elevate our city’s reputation as a leading arts and cultural destination,” stated Mayor Johnathan X. Coté. “As we look toward fulfilling New Westminster’s Riverfront Vision, which aims to connect people to the riverfront, ‘Birds on a Branch’ serves as a unique and exciting destination which will draw residents and visitors alike.”

Added Mary Trentadue, a city councillor in New West and also a member of the city’s public art advisory committee: “The City of New Westminster has been working towards transformation of our riverfront over the past few years and this art installation is an important part in bringing back a sense of place and creativity to an area of our downtown that has been overlooked for years. I am very proud to see this project realized and look forward to this flock of birds joining the neighbourhood.”

tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com