Recently while communing through the Brentwood area of Burnaby, I passed what I immediately took as a sign that I was being productive that day. I hopped off the bus to investigate for a bit and in the process was late for work, so it’s possible I was misreading this sign just a bit.

Located off of Willingdon Ave, on Juneau St, “Tick” by Reese Terrace at first resembles a piece of vaguely cheerful marketing. The type of encouraging icon usually reserved for when you’ve made the right choice of laundry detergents. But walking around the giant checked box, it’s clear there’s nothing being sold, nothing being gained. It’s just a little affirmation that, “yep, you did it.”
However you want to take it, the artist himself isn’t giving too much insight into any deeper meaning. In a statement on the Burnaby public art directory, he mainly goes into the history of the check mark or “tick-box” symbol, and how it’s said that it first started as a “V” to imply “Veritas” or verifying that something was true. The letter soon evolved as people hastily wrote it on forms and documents, and it ended up as the check/tick we all use while sitting in waiting rooms the world over.

Terrace’s other work might actually give a bit of perspective into the piece. He’s created a six-story apartment building temporarily installed in the rotunda of the Vancouver Art Gallery, a pedestrian wooden bridge connecting two residential homes, and an architectural false front added to the existing false front of an artist-run center- clearly he’s drawn to more experiential (and experimental) uses of space. 

No matter though. For now, I’ll keep using it as a means of positive reinforcement that I made the right choice in checking it out. Here’s hoping I won’t need to fill out a late slip when I get back.

Take the Millenium Line Skytrain to Brentwood Centre Station, and walk south for about 5 minutes!

To easily plan the route for your next artistic outing, you can use the TransLink Trip Planner.

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