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New art for Naramata

Architect, Rob Mackenzie, unveiled his Legacy Landmark Project for Wharf Park in the village of Naramata, on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The art piece is titled Transitions and has many layers of symbolism. It is made from beautiful natural materials and has an elegant and functional design.

Rob introduced the idea at a Village Enhancement Committee meeting in January and has since been bringing the landmark together with in-kind support.

Founding contributors have been generous, getting the legacy project to this point. Artist, Petronella van den Berg was one of the first to donate, with the white marble Spirit Stone located in the centre.

Its weight alone is 600 pounds. Craig Lynes of Rich River Exploration donated the large cascade granite stone, which weighs over 12 tonnes.

The salmon sculpture on Westminister Avenue East, near the creek walkway has been carved from cascade granite as well. Larry Kenyon and Chris King of Greyback Construction, supplied the lift truck and labour to pick up this huge stone, from its quarry, in Beaverdell. Berry and Smith Trucking took the stone to Surrey, where it is now being sliced with a diamond saw that can slice a meter of stone in about three hours. The completed stones will each be over eight feet tall, so it is a massive, time-consuming cutting job. Behind the scenes, biologist Glen Smith worked on the riparian analysis of the site. Jim Morrison of Wildstone Construction did the geotechnical analysis of the soil. Gneiss engineer and business consultant, Drew Fullerton, did a structural review of the foundation requirements. Gary Dicken, Naramata Excavation, dug the test hole and drilled the site.

Bringing something as large and beautiful as this into reality is an act of creative convergence, which is culminating in Naramata’s Centennial Year.

Mackenzie had worked on a report for the Naramata Core Planning Group, some 10 years ago, which considered opportunities to enhance the village core.

The location of Wharf Park, is where First Nations people gathered and new settlers arrived by water. Mackenzie’s design makes reference to Okanagan First Nations symbolism and four key elements: land, water, air and fire.

“Static elements of the project include a central spirit stone surrounded by four stone slabs ‘pillars of strength’ emerging from four tile symbols on top of what appears to be a turtle shell. Soft lighting is planned to be generated by solar and wind energy.

It is intended to create a focal point of gathering, rest and reflection” said Mackenzie.

Although there have already been cash donations, this unveiling event marks the kick-off to the fundraising drive. Donors will be recognized with their names engraved on a centennial plaque to be located near the landmark. For information contact Georgeen Janzen. Contributions can be sent to the NCA-Centennial Committee, Box 146, Naramata, V0H 1N0. Tax receipts will be issued by the RDOS for donations over $100.

Notes to remember

Penticton’s Centennial Calendar will be going to print this November. If you or your organization has a 2008 creative event that it would like included, please e-mail .

AGSO Curator, Paul Crawford has two lectures on the internationally renowned Canadian Artist, Agnes Martin, to coincide with the exhibition Agnes Martin: On a Clear Day. Contact the gallery at 493.2928 for additional information.

Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. is the date and time of the Penticton and District Community Arts Council’s annual general meeting. This administrative organization is asking for new directors to come forward, as we enter Penticton’s Centennial Year.

Jane Shaak is vice-president and Samarpan Faasse is executive director of the Okanagan School of the Arts.

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