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Public courtyard at West Van's Kay Meek Arts Centre opens with new Marie Khouri sculpture

West Vancouver arts centre wraps up three-year capital campaign with opening of Faris Family Courtyard
A new public courtyard at Kay Meek Arts Centre has opened, boosted by a sublime piece of art from a renowned sculptor.

Fashioned from white Carrara marble from Italy, Marie Khouri’s sculpture, Sit With Me, Share With Me, was officially unveiled during the opening of the West Vancouver art centre’s new Faris Family Courtyard on Friday (July 2).

The sculpture is made up of two smooth, shapely benches into which Khouri has incorporated the Arabic letter “Y,” in tribute to Yulanda Faris, a well-known arts benefactor and West Vancouver resident who died in 2015.

Yulanda’s daughter, Reema, was present at the opening, which happened to fall on her mother’s birthday.

“I’m thrilled to see Marie’s sculpture in place. It means so much to me to have such a beautiful commemoration of my mother’s spirit captured in this way and placed here for everyone to savour and appreciate,” said Reema.

The new courtyard and sculpture were implemented following a donation by Reema to Kay Meek’s capital campaign, which was launched in 2018 in order to give the 15-year-old art space a much-needed facelift and add accessibility features for people living with disabilities.

The $4-million fundraising campaign was successfully concluded last month.

The courtyard and sculpture are part of the Kay Meek renovation, which has called for improving exterior spaces, pathways and landscaping, according to a news release.

Khouri’ was born in Egypt and raised in Lebanon. Her childhood was interrupted during the Lebanese Civil War, at which point she relocated to Spain, Italy, Canada and, finally, went to Paris where she learned sculpture at l’Ecole du Louvre. She is now a Vancouver-based artist.

The sculptor said Sit With Me, Share With Me is meant to be a seductive call for the community to sit, speak and share.

“[I imagine] Kay Meek and Yulanda Faris enjoying each other’s company, sitting across from each other, conversing about the future of culture in our community,” said Khouri.

The Faris Family Courtyard at Kay Meek is now open to the public.