North America’s Best Little Arts Town is about to go public with an extraordinary show of support for the city’s cultural tourism sector and its on-going economic development efforts.
Beginning two weeks ago, City of Nelson public works crews began installing seven sculptures made of everything from bronze to stone to recycled pipe and glass, in locations stretching from Nelson’s new Railtown District to the shores along Lakeside Park.
The effort stems from the input of Nelson citizens who shared their thoughts during open house sessions prior to the creation of the City’s Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan.
“Nelsonites told us they wanted to see more public art around town,” says City of Nelson cultural development officer Joy Barrett. “And that’s what they’ve received. The seven sculptures are beautiful, very unique and a wonderful addition to Nelson’s numerous amenity areas and walkways.”
Barrett adds that the sculpture program has been cost effective, with five of the sculptures leased, one purchased, and another one donated, all for a total of just over $20,000 — a tenth of the cost of outright purchasing the art.
The City has purchased the sculpture entitled QR from Winlaw artist Carl Schlichting. It has since been placed in the city’s new Railtown District. The Nelson Rotary Club has donated “There!” a piece created by New York State sculptor Susan Geissler, to be situated in Lakeside Park. The piece was purchased by Nelson doctor Ken Muth on behalf of the Rotary Club. The other five sculptures will be installed in amenity areas along Baker Street.
In October of last year, a $210,000, 25-foot tall bronze sculpture entitled Heron’s Landing was gifted to the City by West Kelowna artist Jock Hildebrand and developer Michael Lobsinger. It now sits alongside the Lakeside Park Pathway.
The sculptures are currently being installed around the downtown.