Art rental program beautifies city hall (with video)

'It is important to us to pay the artists. A lot of times artists are asked to display their work for free ...'

Art Rental from Bill Metcalfe on Vimeo.



Visitors to Nelson city hall, stepping off the elevator on the second floor, are greeted by a very large painting, Nelson Back Alley Grid by Wynndel artist Sandy Kunze.

Walking down the hall, there is more art. In the reception area of the city offices: a large photo of a fall landscape by Jim Lawrence and a fabric collage by Kate Bridger.

Nelson painter Carol Wallace with Mayor Deb Kozak and Wallace’s painting A Lot of Legs, which is hung in Kozak’s office. Wallace says she lets her young children name her paintings. All photos by Bill Metcalfe.

When city hall put out a call last year for visual artists to take part in its art rental program, they got over 150 applications.

One of the paintings chosen was A Lot of Legs by Carol Wallace. It’s hung behind Mayor Deb Kozak’s desk.

“I am really honoured that my painting is in the mayor’s office,” Wallace told the Star. “I’m thrilled.”

A jury of artists adjudicated the applications and narrowed it down to the 16 now hanging in the city offices. The artists are paid a monthly rental fee of three per cent of the estimated sales value, so the rental for a painting worth $1,000 would be $30 per month. The city’s cultural development officer, Joy Barrett, says this calculation method is based on her research into similar programs elsewhere.

City employee Ginger Lester has a piece by photographer Jim Lawrence in her work area..

“It is important to us to pay the artists,” she says. “A lot of times artists are asked to display their work for free, for the exposure, and we try not to do that because this is their living.”

The money comes from the city’s public art reserve fund, which is fed by three per cent of the city’s building permit fees. Chief financial officer Colin McClure told the Star the contributions to the fund have been $4,063 in 2013, $2,747 in 2014, and $3,913 in 2015. Not all of this was used for the art rental program, which began in 2015.

Deb Kozak and Carol Wallace with Nelson Back Alley Grid by Sandy Kunze.

Kozak speaks enthusiastically about the program.

“Having art in city hall has been a wonderful experience not just for me but for the staff, and for people who come in to see me daily. There is a never a shortage of comments, or people interested in who the artists are. [They ask] where did you get it, where do they live, and it is also amazing the feeling that art inspires in an office.

“I had two other works in my office for the past year and when they were taken down, the walls were bare, it was amazing how the mood shifted in the office. I was surprised by that, and we were really happy to get the new art. This is a public space, and we have public art, showcasing artists in our area. It is a fine thing to do.”

City employee Ginger Lester’s work area behind the reception counter is flanked by the Jim Lawrence photo and Kate Bridger collage.

“I feel very fortunate,” she says. “My desk area is getting lots of attention, and I feel I have another window in my office. It makes coming to work every day even more enjoyable because I have such a wonderful space with this beautiful art in it.”

Deb Kozak with Monochromatic Composition #6 by Tsuneko Kokubo.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Nelson lacks enough supporting housing to meet homeless demand: report

The annual study shows permanent shelter is needed for people experiencing homelessness

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Nelson outdoor photo exhibit reflects physically distanced life

Portraits of a Pandemic runs until Oct. 15 at Lakeside Park

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read