Levels, by Judson Beaumont, is stop #1 in the Guide to Public Art brochure (PDF) published by the City of Kelowna. I can’t, however, find it on the City website’s Public Art Collection page. No problem. I was able to find it in real life, thanks to the note in the brochure, which directed me to the piece at the “Base of Knox Mountain, 50m NW of lower parking area.”
The picture in the brochure makes Levels looks like giant stone stairs. As I pointed my scooter toward Knox Mountain, I wondered how I could have been to that park so many times and never noticed this art. The brochure continued:
This concrete form was inspired by the popular 1970′s song, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and was commissioned for the Kelowna International Festival of the Arts sculpture competition.
It was installed in 1986.
I pulled into the lower parking area, got off the scooter and headed NW. I looked for the steps. I kept walking…and damn near fell into the pit that is Levels. It doesn’t go up, it goes down.
It was my visit to Levels that made me realize that I should put a tape measure in my bag. I was looking for a huge set of stone stairs, but in reality, this is two sets of small stairs separated by two stone plank-like pieces. A bridge. To add perspective, I put my hat on the art and took a couple of pictures.
There’s no water, troubled or otherwise, under the little bridge, either. And it was Levels that made me realize I should put some gloves in my bag, too. I did a little weeding and picked up some of the garbage, but I left the small shards of glass in there.
Kelowna has at least 59 Public Art installations. Many of them are beautiful, and most of them are at least interesting. I’m not a fan of Levels, though. It could benefit from a plaque that identifies it as art, or at least warns people they’re about to step in a hole.
If you go, plan on spending some time in the park. It’s beautiful. You can walk on the relatively flat part near the lake, or head up Knox Mountain on foot, on a bike or in a motorized vehicle to the lookout. Stunning views. Use the map below to get directions. (If you zoom in far enough, you’ll get a glimpse of Levels, about 50m NW of the lower parking lot at Ellis and Broadway.)
Find out more about Public Art in Kelowna here. If you’re reading this before September 4, 2011, you still have time to get to the “Please Touch the Art” exhibit at the Kelowna Art Gallery. It’s a wonderful exhibit, and has inspired me to visit every piece of public art in Kelowna. I’ve been more excited about the others. Click on “Public Art” in the “What’s here” box on the right side of this page to see the other posts.