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View from the Top and Lifting Hands

View from the Top (left) and Lifting Hands right) by Chito Maravilla

Artist: Ferdinand "Chito" Maravilla
Location: Maple Green Park (8959 150 Street)
Category: Civic collection
Year Installed: 2019

About View from the Top and Lifting Hands

With whimsical characters and a shining, gold finish, Maravilla has transformed a simple park washroom building into a celebratory work of art with two designs: the wall panel View from the Top and the functional gate-as-art Lifting Hands.

On the north side of the building, View from the Top shows the outline of a Steller’s jay—a native BC bird—flying over the natural and urban landscape of Surrey, surveying all that we have to be grateful for. Within the bird are depictions of the SkyTrain, Pattullo Bridge, Mount Baker, tugboats on the Fraser River, and other recognizable features of Surrey. Around the Stellar’s jay, children soar like flocks of birds, revelling in all that the city has to offer. The artist invites us all to take on the attributes of birds by flocking together and building a strong community. Maravilla says the artwork is a “celebration of the future and of life” and a “bird’s-eye view of how privileged we are, from the rich surrounding landscapes of nature to the merging metropolis.”

On the south side of the building, the gate panel Lifting Hands depicts a flock of many hands and eyes. Each hand represents a different person with a unique perspective and personality. Together, they represent the community around Maple Green Park. As a resident opens or closes the gate panel, or performs any action for the benefit of their neighbours, their “hands-on” contribution becomes part of the artwork and helps everyone in the community. Maravilla describes the hands as “fluttering like a flock of birds.” They are a reminder that all of our actions affect those around us, and that all of our perspectives and contributions are important to building a strong community.

Together, View from the Top and Lifting Hands speak of the positive effects of a community working together. The gold colour of the panels represents the precious wisdom of our varied perspectives. Maravilla’s designs are a reminder to appreciate all we have and to recognize the importance of diversity in our success as a city.

About the Artist

Ferdinand “Chito” Maravilla studied Fine Arts at the University of Santo Tomas and worked for over a decade as an art director at an advertising agency in Manilla. In 2002, he migrated to Canada with his wife and two sons. Since then, he has applied his creativity to several Surrey businesses, including playground design and graphic design. He currently works as a graphic designer. Throughout his career, he has continued to develop his own art practice. His paintings have been included in many curated exhibitions. Maravilla’s artworks are a reflection of his experience of his new home in Surrey. “My paintings and artworks are my way of documenting my life and how I see the world with wonderment,” he says.