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A symphony of sculptures by Vancouver artist Jeannette Lee

What started as a need for a new sign at Richmond Nature Park spawned a two-year community project that brought together 78 elementary school students, four teachers, an artist and many city staff and local businesses.

What started as a need for a new sign at Richmond Nature Park spawned a two-year community project that brought together 78 elementary school students, four teachers, an artist and many city staff and local businesses.

The result is Green Symphony, a collection of seven metal sculptures created by Vancouver artist Jeannette Lee. After months of collaboration with students from Debeck and Mitchell elementary schools, the sculptures, which are interspersed within the parks natural landscape, represent life in the park.

Originally, the park needed a new electronic sign to replace the old wooden one, said Lee. Since I love working with communities and children, I approached teachers from the two elementary schools and asked if they would be willing to be part of a collaborative art project.

The kids did some brainstorming and drew pictures of the Richmond Nature Park, and from this emerged the concept of Green Symphony.

In addition, the students spent time in the Richmond Nature Park on a gathering information field trip. As the award-winning artist and sculptor listened to the students ideas, different concepts surfaced.

Ideas from the older students started to form from the younger kids ideas and drawings, said Lee, who has worked on many different community art projects over the years. The kids came up with the theme of interconnectivity of organic life within the park and how it relates to all life form.

Green Symphony consists of metal sculptures ranging in size from four feet to 12 feet high. The sculptures, which look like crowns, sit on coloured poles. The colourful crowns include the nest, larvae, green, footprints, lifecycle, tracks and web.

The overall collective shape of the seven sculptural growth forms in this area are reminiscent of notes of a musical score, varying in height, pitch, colour and melody, she said. Together, this cluster of art creates a symphony of park life existing in harmony with one another.

Since the park is a place for all kinds of different plant life and animals, the kids ideas for the sculptures was to represent all, so for example, the nest represents all forms of housing in the park, she said.

Green Symphonys seven sculptures are on display in the Richmond Nature Park, 11851 Westminster Hwy. For more information, call 604-718-6188. For more information about the citys Public Art Program, visit www.richmond.ca/culture/publicart/opportunities.htm or call them at 604-247-4612.

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