The City of Penticton will be heading into its fifth year of the Penticton Public Sculpture Exhibition with a call to artists from across Canada.
“Although many projects were put on hold amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we are very excited that this program could continue and further develop our arts and culture in the city,” said Kelsey Johnson, manager of recreation, arts & culture. “To see this enter its fifth year has been very rewarding and the positive feedback we have received has been fantastic.”
Most years, the call for submissions goes across the world.
“This year, we really wanted to support our Canadian artists so we are asking for local and national artists.”
Currenlty, all of the six sculptures in the city are made by B.C. artists.
“This is the first year, it is all B.C. artists and that was just a fluke. The calibre of sculptures this year, in my opinion, is the best we’ve seen,” Johnson said.
The sculpture, Lost, seen in the roundabout at Front Street at the Penticton Art Gallery has been a favourite among residents. The artist, Karl Mattison, of Ross, B.C., describes it as a towering female structure made from salvaged material from farmyards and oil field scrap yards. In her right hand she holds a communicated device.
Another favourite, the Salmon Cycle by Trinita Waller, was vandalized this summer.
“Sadly, we did lose the Salmon Cycle to vandalism. Typically, with public art we see some forms of vandalism each year,” she said.
The Penticton Public Sculpture Exhibition is a year-long outdoor exhibit of original sculptures. The sculptures are owned by the artists and leased by the City of Penticton for one year for public enjoyment. The sculptures are displayed along the Okanagan Lakeshore waterfront, downtown and in the Front Street roundabout.
In 2005, the sculpture called Frank, the Baggage Handler by Summerland artists Michael Hermesh caused quite a stir in the town because the sculpture was naked. In the end, someone chopped off Frank’s privates and the sculpture was moved to Red Rooster Winery where it still is.
“Penticton’s arts culture has really developed over the past years, especially with the continuation of this sculpture program. I look forward to seeing more art being showcased in the community and continuing to expand the vibrancy of the downtown and lakeshore walkway,” stated Mayor John Vassilaki.
This year’s exhibit showcases artists from around B.C. and is on display until April 30, 2021.
To check out a map of where the sculptures are located and bios about the sculptors, click here.
Applications are currently being accepted for the 2021 Penticton Public Sculpture Exhibition with the deadline for submissions being Dec. 6.