Castlegar Sculpturewalk is holding its annual general meeting April 21 and for the first time will be offering a sneak peak at several sculptures set to be on display around the city. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Sculpturewalk office, 425 Columbia Ave.
This isn’t the only news for the Walk however; a lot of commotion in Rossland has been happening over a few pieces received last year and only a few days ago as well. For one year, Rossland has been leasing a horse sculpture named Rusty, and they can’t wait to make him a permanent addition to the Alpine City.
“They received Rusty last year and I know the community and Rossland Arts Council really loved him. We’re determined to find a way to keep Rusty there,” said Sculpturewalk executive director Joy Barrett. “I was looking at their crowd funding and they’re pretty much already there. To see a community take this on is great.”
She continued on about Rossland’s most recent addition, which already seems to be a local favourite as well.
“In terms of Sphere too, Rossland was very interested in that piece early on just because of the subject matter. It’s so fitting to Rossland with the whole biking culture. Right away they said ‘we need to lease that piece.’”
Nelson is also on board with the sales and leasing program and has leased another five sculptures this year in addition to outright purchasing two.
“It’s really great to see the increase in public art through the whole region,” Barrett said. “This is part of a long-term process and is necessary for not only us but the artists as well.
“This is part of the reason artists are in the program; to give them a marketplace to sell or lease their piece. There’s not a lot of opportunity in the area — even in BC as a whole — for artists to lease their sculptures. There’s no real other outdoor gallery, so we’ve become that and as such, we’ve become a means for artists to be able to sell their work.”
Barrett explained Sculpturewalk takes a 25 per cent commission, where most other galleries are along the 50-50 line and that is just another way Sculpturewalk attracts such amazing artists.
This has been a large factor for many local artists because now they have a feasible way to make a decent amount of money creating and showcasing their work.
“From a Castlegar perspective we need to expand the market of where we can sell and lease the sculptures,” Barrett said. “We still do have a lot of leases and sales through Castlegar but always knew we would have to expand the market.”
If this year’s applications are any indication of how far the Sculpturewalk expansion has gone, it is set to explode in the next few years.
“We’ve got this woman who just shipped this really huge piece to us from Iran,” Barrett said.
Another artist is bringing her work from Australia and one man is traveling with his sculpture from Cuba. It’s safe to say Castlegar Sculpturewalk has reached worldwide status.
While international attention has been received, Sculpturewalk is still looking to expand locally. The group is hoping to extend the Walk to Trail and Kaslo.
Trail approached Castlegar city council with the idea of bringing some sculptures into town but was ultimately refused. Barrett said she believes those involved in Trail plan to approach council again this year.
“Long term, if we can have Castlegar as the main event with all the artwork initially coming here and then being spread through the West Kootenay, that is where we would like to take it.”
Keep an eye out along the streets and avenues for new and interesting sculptures popping up in the near future as Sculpturewalk gets underway.