Lost History

Posted: February 26, 2014

Vancouver Street Art in 1985

Photos and Text by Ron Kearse

This is a book about a specific time in the history of Vancouver’s street art, 1985, the artists who made it and, unbeknownst to one and all, the local history that emerges from the images that were created on walls that no longer exist. It is a book about how street art and local history combine to create a unique story that is only obvious when you stop to examine it. 1985 is unique because this was the year before Vancouver was to change drastically and forever with the advent of Expo 86. Since then Vancouver, once Canada’s quiet, provincial city on the west coast, has become a modern cosmopolitan, multicultural boom centre¬†with towering glass and steel buildings stretching to the sky, replacing the sawmills, low-rise buildings and parking lots that once were plentiful on the landscape. We invited the world, the world came. These are the sentiments, the imaginations and the personalities of some of the citizens of Vancouver, many of whom have moved away many years ago. Far from being an eyesore, this was the art of the magicians who transformed bare walls into temporary art galleries, many times, overnight.