You may have passed the giant “W” in New Westminster’s Pier Park every day, twice a day, looking down from the SkyTrain, or you may be like me and have only seen it in Instagram photos until now. This week I met up with some friends in the Royal City, who showed me the park and WOW Westminster up close.
Installed in 2015, this 140-foot-long sculpture, comprising four forty-foot shipping containers precariously cantilevered to form a “W,” was designed by the Brazilian artist José Resende.
Title: WOW Westminster
Artist: José Resende (b.1945, Brazil)
Medium: Four corten steel shipping containers
Dimensions (H x W x D): 10.7 x 42.7 x 2.4 m (35’1″ x 140’1″ x 7’10″)
Weight: 15,422 kg (34,000 lbs.)
Location: Westminster Pier Park in New Westminster, British Columbia
Marcello Dantas, the Vancouver Biennale’s senior curator credited with having chosen both the site and the artist, says, “Resende’s WOW Westminster is not only an interpretation of the economic activity of the Fraser River and the flow of goods through trains, ships and trucks: it’s also about capturing the energy and history of this transportation hub, the transformation of the City of New Westminster and its waterfront into a recreational arts and cultural playground. WOW Westminster will become a respite for citizens and an icon of the City and region for decades as viewers explore the riverside walk along Westminster Pier Park.”
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Other Vancouver Icons posts: Playground of the Gods, Photo Session Statues, City Hall History, BC Sugar, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Museum of Anthropology, Fort Langley Community Hall, Christ Church Cathedral, Waterfront Station, Pacific Central Station, Randall Building Mural, East Van Cross, Robert Burns Statue in Stanley Park, Vancouver Maritime Museum, Flack Block, The Drop, Prospect Point Lighthouse, Engagement, Ovaltine Cafe, The English Bay Slide, Freezing Water #7, Cleveland Dam, Heritage Hall, School of Theology Building at UBC, Gate to the Northwest Passage, St Paul’s Hospital, Capilano Lake, Stawamus Chief, Nine O’Clock Gun, Malkin Bowl, Search, Vancouver Rowing Club, Echoes, Point Atkinson Lighthouse, English Bay Inukshuk, Hollow Tree, Hotel Europe, Lions Gate Bridge Lions, LightShed, Granville Bridge, 217.5 Arc x 13′, Canoe Bridge, Vancouver Block, Bloedel Conservatory, Centennial Rocket, Canada Place, Old Courthouse/Vancouver Art Gallery, Dominion Building, Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.