George Norris’ sculpture defined public art in Vancouver in the 1960s

Sculptor George Norris, who died earlier this week in Victoria, made a  contribution to the city’s public art that may exceed that of any other artist.

The crab at the Planetarium is an attraction in its own right and every Aquatic Centre visitor will recall the whirling arms of the swimmer at the entrance. Norris’ work graces parks and a Fairview post office.

But some of Norris’ most important work has disappeared, notably a significant sculpture that once stood at Pacific Centre. It was unceremoniously bundled away by the owners and later destroyed.

Norris was a recipient of a Mayor’s Arts Award in 2010, an honour that included the right to bestow a prize on a notable newcomer to the field. Norris gave his award to East Vancouver’s Reece Terris.