Sculpture and serenity

In the 40 years since its foundation was laid, the Vallican Whole Community Centre has been many things, including a school and dance hall. Now you can add outdoor art gallery.

In the 40 years since its foundation was laid, the Vallican Whole Community Centre has been many things, including a school and dance hall. Now you can add outdoor art gallery.

The new addition takes visitors through an eco-sculpture park on the 11-acre forested grounds, showcasing works by upcoming and established local artists.

“It’s happening in a lovely, organic way,” says Monica Carpendale of Nelson’s Kutenai Art Therapy Institute. “The idea is paths and pods. It draws you into the woods.”

Carpendale got involved in the community centre when it was first conceived and also taught at the Vallican Whole school in its early days, so she’s seen the various incarnations.

The inspiration for the sculpture park came out of a discussion with fellow artist Shelley Hancock.

“We were talking about legacies with both of our husbands passing away and as artists. I’ve always been interested in eco and earth art sculpture and folk and naive art. I suggested why couldn’t we develop a bit of a park? People have gotten really excited about it.”

She envisioned it as a place where sculptures could find permanent homes while incorporating and highlighting the natural environment around them.

The park opened last summer and was a stop on this past weekend’s Columbia Basin Trust Culture Tour.

There are five major pieces, plus several others created during a sculpture symposium and various other workshops. Among them:

• An earth art piece by Nelson’s Thomas Loh entitled Flow, in which fallen birch is arranged into curving, river-like forms.

• A totem pole by retired UBC English professor Jan de Bruyn — an expert on Milton’s Paradise Lost — that represents the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.

• A piece of trash art contributed by Whole caretaker Seamus Gray, called The Rusty Man. It’s made from scrap metal draggwed out of the river.

• A memorial bell that Passmore’s Carl Schlichting hung from a tree in memory of a young boy who died last fall. “It’s got a beautiful sound,” Carpendale says.

Work parties are on site at least one Sunday morning per month, digging roots, moving rocks, and creating paths. Much more is in the works.

“There will be, I’m sure, more pieces as it comes along,” Carpendale says. “We’re hoping to do another symposium, and maybe have a summer school out there.”

Interpretive signs are also planned, and guides will be available for tours and field trips.

(CORRECTION: This story originally stated, erroneously, that the sculpture park resulted from a discussion between Carpendale and Lou Lynn.)

Just Posted

Nelson Reflections win at synchro provincials

Nelson’s synchronized swimming team triumphed at the Jean Peters Provincial Championship

Here we go again: Mamma Mia! set to open at the Capitol Theatre

The ABBA-inspired musical runs Thursday to Sunday

LETTERS: The other side of the Women’s Centre story

From readers Vita Luthmers and Hannah Hadikin

Nelson holds the line on property taxes

No increase this year thanks to deal with RDCK on park funding

West Kootenay opinion sought on health care issues

Rural Evidence Review getting strong response to survey call-out

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7 million to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Roadside device to weed out THC can’t detect impairment, B.C. lawyer says

‘This fact alone is likely to have serious implications for Canadians’ Charter Rights,’ lawyer Sarah Leamon warns

B.C. firefighters rescue frozen dog from ice

The fire crew found a dog stuck in the at Lake Paul on May 20

Most Read