Dear Vancouver architects and business owners, let’s re-visit the enlightened 1970s collaboration between the Best Products company, based in Virginia, and the artist-architect James Wines and his group SITE (Sculpture In The Environment). We could use some of their joint risk-taking and artistic innovation around here. What the videos below show evidence of, but don’t elaborate on, is the fact that the owners of the Best Products company were a highly educated, innovative, aesthetically adventurous family deeply interested in art. Quite apart from hiring James Wines, who is also a sculptor, and giving him an enormous amount of artistic freedom, over the years the Lewis family also amassed an amazing art collection by actually allowing artists to trade store goods for art. You can read about the Lewis family and Best Products here. In one of those funny mutual blog tag-team moments, a million monkeys typing responded to my previous post on James Wines and SITE and added this excellent little video on James Wines, which I’d never seen before, as well as the interesting fact that SITE also produced “Highway 86″ in Vancouver’s 1986 World’s Fair, which for some reason I didn’t know either. Watch the rest of the video here: Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. Thanks for the videos and the photo of Highway 86, millionmonkeys.
Tags: a million monkeys typing, architecture, art, Best Products, Best Stores, bold, box stores, context, deconstructed, Expo 86, Highway 86, innovation, James Wines, Lewis family, risk, ruins, SITE, site-specific, video, Virginia