Letter: Painting hung in Derby Reach outhouse was simply intended to raise spirits

The subject building in a painting of an outdoor washroom facility on the Derby Reach trail system, seemed like the perfect place to hang the artwork, said its creator. However, less than two hours after it was installed, the painting had been removed by Metro staff.

Editor: After going through a personal loss, my husband and I decided to try and raise our spirits.

I had painted a picture of an outhouse that is located on the Derby Reach Trails and my husband framed it.

We decided that the best home for it would be on the wall in the outhouse that I had painted. On a rainy morning we installed the picture above the toilet with minimal interruption to the particle board wall. Mission accomplished.

We left and came back two hours later to take a picture of the “Art in the Outhouse” only to find that the picture was gone.

We were upset and so my husband did some gumboot sleuth work and found out that  Vancouver Metro had removed the picture almost immediately.

The employee’s very polite reason was that we have bylaws and if we did this, then it would open the gates for others.

So I’m thinking what could be the worst thing that could happen?

Would others start hanging their art in the outhouses? Would there be too much upkeep with dusting and all?

The possibilities are endless. There could be an art in the outhouse explosion with art work hanging in every outhouse in the land. There could be no stopping this beast.

Our purpose was simple; to put a smile on the faces of all those who have to darken the doorstep to the outhouse in their time of need.

But there will be no outhouse art. Bylaws are bylaws. Look at what could potentially happen: art, smiles, a unique experience — this just can’t happen here.

Susan McClain,


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