Mount Pleasant has a new neighbourhood icon – Poodle, a 7 foot tall porcelain dog which cost $97,600. This work of art by Gisele Amantea sits atop a 25 foot steel pole in the city park under development at the corner of Main and 18th Ave.
The artist was inspired to make Poodle by her own experience traveling by bus along Main Street observing the people who live along the transit route.
The response to the piece – which is a part of Art on Main – is mixed. Some feel it captures the essence of the community. “What I love about it is that on Main Street nothing is out of place. The out-of-place is in place. You are supposed to be surprised,” resident Mary Frances Hill told the Vancouver Sun.
Bryan Newson, Vancouver’s public art program manager, told the Sun that Amantea’s work has been widely embraced by those who have seen it. “People I think see that it’s entirely appropriate for Main Street with all those very interesting shops which sell used goods, which sell antiques, which sell funky stuff. People think it comes right out of the material culture that is just so evident right up and down Main Street.”
Meanwhile others question the cost of the project, which was paid for by the federal government, TransLink and City of Vancouver. The Vancouver Sun reports “Others are confused about the meaning of the work and its relevance to Main Street and its residents.”
The debate is made even more exciting by the giant Poodle’s new Twitter account: @MainStPoodle
My question to readers: If Main Street’s icon is a giant poodle on a stick, what should ours be?