Blank canvasses. There are millions of them leaning up against each other in art supply stores across the world right now. There are, however, other canvasses so readily available that we probably pass by hundreds a day: walls, fences, sidewalks, shipping containers, benches, barrels, windows, etc. I don’t claim to know anything about art, other than the emotions I derive from it. My face is inclined to break into a grin at the site of public art, whether it’s a grafitti tag in a lonely alley or a 2 story sculpture in a park. It’s purpose for existing may be to provoke thought, incite emotion, or simply to beautify a previously barren space, and for these reasons I am thankful for its existence. Here is a wonderfully controversial piece of public art in my hometown, Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo credit: Stanfos Inc.)

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Hornby is great for so many reasons, one of them being the ample amount of art. EVERYWHERE! Hornby’s public (and private) art takes many shapes and forms, but today I will focus on only one: the water tanks. They are school bus sized cylinder tanks used by the fire department as fire hydrants. Before being painted they come in a deep shade of green, which is quite appropriate considering they are often nestled in the no-man’s-land called “easements” between the island’s network of roads and the forest that lays beyond.
Tank art has become such a fixture on Hornby that open meetings are held to discuss the possibility of painting a blank tank, as well as the proposed design. I wasn’t at the most recent meeting, but judging by the spirited comments the Facebook post regarding the meeting collected, these tanks are a valued part of Hornby’s identity. Below is the clever poster letting resident’s know of the most recent meeting, as well as a shot of residents gathered around the tank in question (thanks to Doug Chinnery for the photo).



I must preface the following photos with an apology. I have not collected the names of the artist of each tank, solely because it slipped my mind while I was collecting pictures for this post, and for this I am deeply sorry. The names of the artist are often displayed on the tanks, but if anyone would like more information I would be glad to source out the artist for you. So without further ado, here are the tanks in all their glory. NOTE: there may be more painted tanks that I don’t know about, so please let me know if I missed any!

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Campbell’s Soup Can, Front

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Campbell’s Soup Can, Side

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Co-op Tank, Front

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Co-op Tank, Side

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Ford’s Cove Tank, Front

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Ford’s Cove Tank, Side

I can’t sign off this post without mentioning the possibility of some water tanks a little CLOSER TO HOME getting a paint job. These 2 tanks are directly behind the farm at Middle Mountain Mead (and steps from our caravan!). I’m sure that when these tanks are painted, passerby for generations to come will be thankful for this Hornby’s love of public art

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– Lana