On June 14th young artists from 14 Vancouver Secondary Schools and 2 Alternative Programs were acknowledged by the Honourable Judge Pedro de Couto for their contribution toward a permanent art installation at the Robson Square Provincial Court.
Thirty-four pieces of art were selected from 58 submissions that represented the voices of Vancouver youth promoting messages of resilience, hope, and, community. At the opening reception, powerful speeches were delivered to students, parents, and special guests by Dr. Val Overgaard and Mr. Steve Cardwell from the Vancouver Board of Education, and The Honourable Judge Patrick Chen.
In addition, King George student Jacky Ngai, was honoured by having his acrylic representation of the Vancouver Art Biennale's blue trees chosen as the feature artistic work. I Can See the River Now was selected based on exceptional technical and aesthetic value
Art in the Court is an ongoing partnership between the Vancouver School Board, the Justice Education Society and Robson Square Provincial Court. This project first came to Robson Square in May of 1995. Original, student-submitted art pieces helped to improve the atmosphere of the courthouse and have given thousands of people enjoyment for over a decade. The artwork was replaced in May 2001 and then again in May 2005.
In 2009 a joint decision was made by members of the Art Teachers Committee and staff of the Justice Education Society to replace the exhibit with a permanent exhibit of high caliber art which was professionally framed by Hambleton Fine Arts Services. This year a grant from the City of Vancouver to honour the city's anniversary was instrumental in covering framing costs. These works have now become the "Art in the Court Permanent Student Collection at Robson Square Provincial Court".