Downtown Nelson will soon be host to a handful of leased sculptures that were part of last year’s Castlegar Sculpturewalk.
The city approved funding to lease five sculpture for one year. After the lease is up, the city plans to trade them in for a new batch.
“It will be like a rotating public gallery,” explained Nelson’s cultural development officer Joy Barrett, who is also the executive director of Sculpturewalk.
Leasing a sculpture costs around $1,500 to $2,000 each, which is about a tenth of the purchase price.
“It’s a really affordable way to bring quality public art into the downtown,” Barrett said.
The money will come from a downtown reserve fund set aside from parking meter revenue.
Four of the sculptures will be installed in the Baker Street amenity areas and one will go on Vernon Street, likely near Touchstones Museum.
The sculptures that will be on display this year include Venus De Cello by Winlaw’s Peter Vogelaar, Dancing Myself by Winlaw’s Rabi’a, Man in Motion by Nelson’s Denis Kleine, Man Waiting by Kaslo’s Sergio Raffo, and Seated Couple by Rick Haugen of Sioux Falls, South Dekota.
“It’s great for the artists who get the opportunity to have their work displayed in an outdoor venue and seen by people who might choose to purchase the piece,” Barret noted. “If any businesses or organizations like the artwork, they can choose to buy it to keep it on display permanently.”
Additionally, the city has decided to purchase a sculpture called QR by Winlaw’s Carl Schliching for permanent installation in Railtown. The $10,000, steel sculpture will go on Railway Street, across from Nelson Farmers’ Supply, on the pedestrian walkway.
The city will be building pedestals and installing the sculptures in the coming weeks, to be on display in time for tourism season. Barrett believes the new artwork will improve the appearance of downtown and help bring visitors to the community.
“Everyone who goes to Castlegar to see the sculptures will also know to come to Nelson to see more. It will be advertised in the Sculpturewalk brochure and website,” she said. “A lot of people say Baker Street needs a bit of a facelift. This is a way we are beautifying our downtown and making it more inviting.”