Glass artist Joel Berman’s work is featured all over the world: Europe, Japan, China, the USA, and soon Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, and the Doha International Airport in Qatar. And he couldn’t be happier to be working in his own backyard of Richmond, on an instalment he custom-created for The Gardens. “It’s a treat to be here again. I love doing work in the Vancouver area and Townline and the ta group of companies have been really receptive. They’re great to work with.”
The public art he’s creating consists of three groups of abstract trees at the entrance to The Gardens. Trees are an obvious inspiration here in our rainforest city—a tribute to Richmond’s fertile soil and to The Gardens itself. These trees are stainless steel, 14 to 18 feet tall, with cast glass leaves being made at Joel’s Annacis Island studio. “Our technique is a language of glass that’s been born and bred here in Vancouver, and is now featured throughout the world.”
More than just visually engaging, the installation will be multifunctional, with structural glass benches coming out of the tree like branches or young shoots, at levels where people can sit on them, work on their laptops, or catch a bit of sun. It’s intended to entertain and delight residents, passing pedestrians, and even drivers stopped at traffic lights. Like the best public art, it’s for everyone.