Public Art in Kelowna, BC – Pride Mural

Pride Mural

Pride Mural

Stop #26 on the Public Art in Kelowna tour is 1476 Water Street, home of the Okanagan Rainbow Coalition.

The Pride Mural, painted by local artist Scott Tobin in 2009, occupies the entire south wall of the building.  The Okanagan Rainbow Coalition posted photos of the mural being painted here.

The Coalition received a grant from the City of Kelowna Public Art Committee during Pride Week 2009, and this mural is the result.  The work is described on the City website:

This community project boldly celebrates the positive theme of unity. The imagery was developed through a series of focus groups with local gay, lesbian and gender-questioning youth.

Interestingly, the mural includes not only the six colours seen in the Rainbow Flag, but the two colours later dropped from the original version.  Each colour has a meaning: red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), blue (harmony), and purple/violet (spirit).  The mural includes the removed colours pink (sexuality) and turquoise (magic).

This stunning mural is a huge step in the right direction, away from the dark days of 1997 when then-Mayor Walter Gray refused to proclaim “Gay and Lesbian Pride Day,” instead proclaiming “Gay and Lesbian Day” because he didn’t want anyone to think he believed that being gay or lesbian was anything to be proud of.

In March, 2000, a BC Human Rights Tribunal found the action discriminatory in that proclamations are a service customarily available to the public, adding that a mayor does not have the right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.  Mayor Gray then refused to proclaim anything else, ever, for the rest of his time in office.

So, boldly celebrating the positive theme of unity is huge here in Kelowna.  I wonder if the magic had anything to do with it.

Pride week kicks off this year, complete with Proclamation (PDF), on August 8.  And as the result of the work Mayor Sharon Shepherd and City Council did on the new Flag Policy and Flag Guidelines (PDF), this year for the first time, the Rainbow Flag will fly above City Hall.

Congratulations to the Okanagan Rainbow Coalition, Scott Tobin, the Kelowna Public Art Committee, and the City officials and staff on a job well done.

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. Eventually.

Permanent link to this article: http://cateeales.com/2011/08/07/public-art-in-kelowna-bc-pride-mural/

Public Art in Kelowna, BC – Aerosol Art Mural

The Aerosol Art Mural

The Aerosol Art Mural

The Aerosol Art Mural is stop #52 in the Public Art brochure (PDF).

Artist Lars Widell created this mural on a cement concrete (Thanks, Patrick) retaining wall as part of the City’s anti-graffiti program in 2006.

At one end of the mural depicts the lake.  The other end has images of fruit trees, grapevines, and flowers.  In between are animals, trees, and — I think — mountains.  The colours are beautiful and vibrant.

The mural wall runs the entire length of Duggan Park at 1551 Bernard Avenue (Map).  Duggan Park is a small park, and features a fenced off-leash area for small dogs.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://cateeales.com/2011/08/03/public-art-in-kelowna-bc-aerosol-art-mural/

Public Art in Kelowna, BC – Elemental

Elemental - Tree Grates

Elemental - Tree Grates

I’ve walked by these tree grates probably a thousand times.  I’ve looked at them and thought, “That’s interesting!”  But I never thought about them as art, public or otherwise.

These tree grates on Cawston (Map) between the Kelowna Art Gallery and the Rotary Centre for the Arts were the winning design in a competition held in 2000.  Crystal Przybille is the designer.  She incorporates “elements representing the Okanagan.”  You can see Kokanee salmon and waves in the circles closest to the trees, fruit trees in the corners, and sun at the edges.

The grates are about 4 feet by 4 feet.  I like how oxidation will change the colour of the grates over time.  Trees get bigger over time, too, and the inner part of the grates have been removed from around some of the trees.  Good for the trees, but too bad for the “elements.” I guess that’s the downside of functional public art.  There are more of these grates on Abbott Street, apparently, although I can’t remember ever having noticed them.

More about Public Art in Kelowna here.  You can grab a PDF with a list and a map at that same link.  “Elemental” is #10 on the list.  The Kelowna Art Gallery has a wonderful exhibit called “Please Touch the Art: Art in the Public Space”.  If you’re reading this before September 4, 2011, you should check it out online, or even better, in person.

Click on “Public Art” in the “What’s here” box on the right side of this page to see all the Public Art posts on the blog.  I hope eventually to blog about all 59 sites.

Permanent link to this article: http://cateeales.com/2011/08/02/public-art-in-kelowna-bc-elemental/

Public Art in Kelowna, BC – The Brevity Memorial

The Brevity Memorial

The Brevity Memorial

The first stop for me on the “Please Visit the Art” tour is actually #53 in the brochure (PDF here).   The Brevity Memorial is in Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery.  The memorial is for children who have predeceased their parents.

I visited the memorial on Saturday, July 30, 2011.  It was a beautiful day with heat and sunshine.  The cemetery was more peaceful than I thought it would be.  It’s right next to the golf course.

A bronze life-sized statue of two children playing on a tree stump symbolizes brevity, or a life cut short.  People placed children’s toys and trinkets at the base of the statue, and on top of the memorial’s walls.  There are 160 names inscribed in the walls.

 

The Brevity Memorial is located in the Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery, 1991 Bernard Avenue.  To get to The Brevity Memorial, from wherever you are get to the intersection of Bernard/Spall/Glenmore. (Map)

Head toward the golf course, and you’ll see a sign for cemetery access on the right.  Once you are through the gates, the memorial is on your right, near section G4.

Permanent link to this article: http://cateeales.com/2011/08/01/public-art-in-kelowna-bc-the-brevity-memorial/

Please Visit the Art

A Guide to Public Art - City of Kelowna

A Guide to Public Art - City of Kelowna

The Kelowna Art Gallery exhibition “Please Touch the Art: Art in the Public Space” is a wonderful recounting of the creation of Brower Hatcher’s Bear sculpture in Stuart Park.

While I was there I found a brochure called “A Guide to Public Art” (PDF version here) with a list of 59 pieces of public art throughout Kelowna.

The weather is finally hot and sunny.  I’m trying to learn WordPress, and I have an unused domain kicking around.  I like taking pictures.  All that makes this seem like the perfect excuse to visit and photograph all the public art on the list, and the people and things near the public art, too.

I hope you like the pictures.  I hope you’ll get out and look at the public art.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://cateeales.com/2011/07/30/please-visit-the-art/