Public art installation in front of Vancouver Public Library. A large sign lit up in pink lights reads: THE WORDS DON'T FIT THE PICTURE.


Vancouver, BC
18' tall custom art piece
January, 2010
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The plaza at the Vancouver Public Library is just about the last place you’d expect to see a an 18-foot-tall proclamation in lights: THE WORDS DON’T FIT THE PICTURE.

A text-based public art installation by artist Ron Terada, the piece references the days when signs were grand statements, or as the artist says, “landmarks in their own right.” Surprisingly, Vancouver, too, was once known for its neon lights, and by juxtaposing this artwork with a public library, passers-by (and even puzzled residents) are given opportunity to ascribe their own meaning to how we use language.

  • The sign is big and bold, but neon has given way to LED—1,280 nodes, to be precise. Eos collaborated with the artist to meet time and budget constraints and to be ready for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Eos worked with artist, Ron Terada, to develop the concept, after which we provided design detailing, prototype mock-ups, then fabricated and programmed the installation.

    Today, the sign is still a showstopper, with its programmed sequence of lights and ambiguous meaning.

Client: City of Vancouver, Olympic & Paralympic Art Program
Public Artist: Ron Terada
System Engineering & Construction Documents: Eos Lightmedia
Lighting & Control System Design: Eos Lightmedia
General Contractor & Project Management: Eos Lightmedia
Installation, Programming & Commissioning: Eos Lightmedia
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