Art exhibit opening

Artist pays homage to legacy of sculpturist Peter Soehn

The opening reception for a new exhibit celebrating the works of sculpturist Peter Soehn will be held Friday, July 14, 6 to 8 p.m., at the Lake Country Art Gallery.

The exhibit runs July 14 to Aug. 26.

You won’t find much about Soehn on the Internet, aside from the occasional credit on a roadside attractions website, or as the creator of some bizarre “world’s largest sculpture“ in Western Canada.

In a time before digital posts occupied our lives, we spent time outside, visiting petting zoos, waterslides, theme parks and fruit stands.

In Furbish: Remnant Themes of Post-Amusement, artist Scott August explores what little remains of Soehn’s unrecognized legacy, from unearthing a buried 1970s Billboard, to posthumously documenting the artist’s mind-boggling studio.

All that remains of Soehn’s efforts are fading family photographs, unfinished sculptures and dust-covered memories.

Born in Saskatchewan in 1933, Soehn not only created characters of rural life, he himself was exactly that.

Soehn worked as a television prop builder and on-camera painting instructor in Alberta and in Kelowna at CHBC during the 1960s and ’70s.

In the ’80s, his family created ambitious folk-art sculptures and theme-parks for the amusement of others, from the demolished Kelowna Zoo to the redeveloped Old MacDonald’s Farm. But today, very little remains of his work in the Okanagan.

August is a Kelowna-born artist working between the Okanagan and Vancouver, he has been actively photographing and collecting what remains of the Soehn’s attractions.

August has previously exhibited at the Kelowna Art Gallery, the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, Victoria’s 50/50 Gallery, Vancouver’s Interurban Gallery, and abroad at Pop Montreal Arts Festival and Chicago’s Three Walls Gallery.

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