Close to a dozen Emily Carr University of Art and Design undergraduate students are having their artwork showcased on electrical boxes in downtown Granville Street, in an artistic anti-graffiti collaboration between the university and the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association.
The WRAP project, now in its second iteration, is featuring the designs of 11 ECUAD undergraduates on vinyl overlays for the utility boxes. The overlays will remain in place for two years.
“It’s really about brightening and enlivening Granville Street, and it’s for the entire public—kids, everybody,” Susan Stewart, dean of the faculty of culture and community, explained. “And one of the things the DVBIA was trying to do is reduce graffiti on those boxes. We do know that tag artists are very respectful of other artists’ work. They don’t tag other people’s work, generally.”
According to a press release, graffiti on the decorated boxes was reduced by 50 percent after the first WRAPs were installed two years ago.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for the students,” Stewart added. “Any time that we can professionalize student activity and give them an opportunity to be in the real world with real clients—and in this case the DVBIA would be considered a client—it gives them practice with that.…We try to prepare [them] for entry into the workforce when they leave.”
Student Nicole Dunn designed an overlay that features comical bunnies living it up in an elaborate tunnel system—complete with dance club, yoga studio, and carrot-dog stand. “As a new artist, it’s such a wonderful opportunity to have this kind of exposure,” she said. “And it was just wonderful to be given the opportunity to give something back and to be a part of Granville Street. It’s such a vibrant and colourful part of downtown.”
In addition to Dunn, the student artists selected for the project include Amy Clare, Helsa Ahmadi, Jingyao Chen, Jocelyn Ko, Sabrina Hsu, Cathleen Chow, Laura McIntosh, Briea Mainwaring, Michael MacRae, and Brie Katherine.