This new bubble gum public art literally gives you something to chew on


A new public art project commissioned by the City of Vancouver might not only get tongues wagging, but it will also give locals something to chew on.

That’s because QA Chew’s Bubble Trouble is a bubble gum-themed art endeavour that includes actual artist-created gum we can chew on, as well as a companion art exhibit.

Tall Tale (Division 7), Risographed Postcard, 2016, Vancouver. Edition of 250 by Hannah Jickling, Helen Reed with Ms. Nickel’s 2015/2016 Division Seven students of Queen Alexandra Elementary School: Savanna, Jackie, Kurtis, Kia, Karyl, Dekoda, Farhin, Chris, Susan, Francis, Lorne, Saiyaka, Cathy, Gabby, Lily, Angelo and Lucas.

The art and gum is the work of Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling, who named the gum in honour of Queen Alexandra Elementary School and they worked with Big Rock Candy Mountain (with support from Other Sights for Artists’ Projects) to created the chew-able art.

The release of the gum will coincide with the opening of the group exhibition Mouthfeel at Western Front, on display from November 1 to December 15, 2018.

To come up with the flavour, they worked with grade 6 and 7 students at the school last year, who learned about the whole scope of the process of creating gum–a substance that many schools have banned because of how messy it can be.

“We wanted our student co-creators to become sceptical consumers and also explore different flavour profiles,” said Jickling in a media release. The kids also engaged with some of the artwork that is part of Mouthfeel.

In the end, the unique taste of QA CHEW’S BUBBLE TROUBLE is described as an “abstract blend of both fruity and sweet notes, with some sharp and earthy tones.” Student taste-testers have called it all of the following: “Hello Kitty bubble bath,” “pungent,” and “mysterious.”

Sound intriguing? You can purchase the gum at Western Front, or you can be one of the lucky recipients who will get the gum at the one time of year grown ups hand candy out freely: Halloween.

On Halloween, the gum will be distributed at select East Vancouver locations, in addition to homes across Mount Pleasant, Commercial Drive, and the Hastings-Sunrise area. The Western Front will serve as the main distribution hub on October 31, 2018, from 5 to 8 pm. Further retail locations will be announced on the Big Rock Candy Mountain website.