Stop #32 on the Public Art in Kelowna brochure is Renaissance of a Tree, a wood sculpture carved by a man with a chainsaw.
Pete Ryan carved the falcon from a cottonwood tree that fell in a storm which did considerable damage to City Park in 1997. The sculpture is meant as a tribute to the tree and to the return of the peregrine falcons, who had recently been sighted in the valley after an absence of 40 years.
In the intervening years, this sculpture has had several Grand Adventures. The original base, roughly 4 feet in diameter, rotted. In 2008, Ryan carved a new base and added a young falcon and a nest to the sculpture.
The piece stood at the edge of a building in City Park which served for awhile as washrooms and concession stands and then as offices for some City employees. The building burned and was eventually demolished in 2011. Renaissance of a Tree was behind a security fence for awhile and now stands out in the open, where the concession building used to be.
Kelowna has over 60 Public Art installations. I hope to blog about all of them. Last July the Kelowna Art Gallery’s exhibition “Please Touch the Art: Art in the Public Space” made me want to visit and blog about all the public art in Kelowna. In August and September I rode my scooter around town taking photos and blogging about some of the pieces, and I saved some of them to post over the winter. It’s scooter weather again, finally, and I’m picking up where I left off.
To see all the Public Art posts so far, click on the Public Art link on the right side of this page, or on this link. Better still, pick up the brochure, or download the PDF, and build your own tour!