If you’re walking down the corridor from the Kelowna Community Theatre to the Rotary Centre for the Arts and notice a strange arrangement of stone, don’t worry, this isn’t the city’s idea of a rock garden.
Chipped from an unnamed donor’s quarry and carefully hauled to the site by the Kelowna Sculptor’s Network Society, this arrangement of stones will become a public sculptor’s studio for the majority of the summer as the society opens its doors to the work normally housed in studio.
“Carving marble is slow, so it will take several months and we won’t all be down here at the same time,” said Jeanne Bates, who joined the group originally to work on a bronze medallion project the society was offering in workshops.
She now has a bronze piece displayed in Kelowna’s sister city of Kasagai.
Fellow sculptor Donna Lee has had plenty of work displayed right here in Kelowna. She is responsible for sculpting former Mayor Walter Gray and says her public sculpture here will likely be objectified, meaning it will have other materials, like wood or metal framing, included in the final product. She is planning an abstract piece.
Altogether there are 14 stones, though only 12 artists will be doing the carving. One piece will be done as a thank you to the person who donated the stone and another will become a contest for up-and-coming artists.
In the coming weeks, the sculptors are expected to announce the ins-and-outs of a contest which will see several youths’ black and white drawings selected to be carved into the final stone.
This will take a concentrated effort from the carvers who all had the privilege of choosing the stones they wanted to create their main piece, making the carving itself a little easier.
The community art project will be donated to back to the citizens of Kelowna to be displayed in an as yet undecided location. On Saturday, July 30 the sculptors will host a special celebratory reception for the project at the Kelowna Art Gallery and the community will get the chance to vote for their favourite sculpture—which will be announced at a closing reception in September.
The sculptors involved include Alasdair Smith, Alex Mentes, Dave Blackburn, Dave Walton, Elma Eides Neufeld, Estaban Castillo, Jan Richmond, Lynden Beesley, Melvyn Hunt, McKinnon, Lee, Bates and Trevor Moen.
The project will run from roughly June 20 to Sept. 20.