Public art piece nudges Bowen sculptor toward artistic goals

For Trent Hutton, work as a sculptor has always been a balance between creativity and paying the bills. With his first job as a sculptor, technicially speaking, at a mascot studio in Toronto and then a shift to the world of artificial rock when he moved West, Hutton says he hopes the completion of his first piece of public art helps to launch his career into more purely creative work.

Last Friday, Hutton’s 21 foot, ground-level sculpture of a frog emerging from a lake was unveiled last Friday at the opening of the new Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station in Coquitlam.

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The work was one of four pieces commissioned for various skytrain stations.

“TransLink, the province and the City of Coquitlam had objectives they wanted to meet about connecting to the communities and their histories,” says Hutton. “Lafarge Lake jumped out at me immediately, in part because they are a manufacturer of concrete which is connected to my medium. In the 1980s, the company gave a gravel pit to the city that was successfully redeveloped into a hundred acres of public parkland that’s now home to many wildlife species, including frogs.”

Hutton says his piece is a celebration of humans, nature and transformation. It took more than 120 hours to complete, and Hutton has named it, TransLake. He adds that it is meant to be playful, even if that means people climbing all over it.

Hutton’s other work can be found in and around private residences on Bowen Island and the lower mainland, as well as at the Vancouver Aquarium, Science World and YVR.

“Yes, this is creative work but it tends to involve other designers, artists and fabricators. What I really enjoyed about this project is the opportunity to start creating from my own concept,” says Hutton. “Since my idea was chosen, I’ve had the chance to speak with many artist doing this kind of work. It is very competitive, and I feel lucky to have this kind of exposure.”

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