For the first time in Castlegar Sculpturewalk’s 11-year history, there has been a tie for the People’s Choice Award, which is voted on via ballot.
Rebirth, by Winlaw artist Peter Vogelaar, and Choosing Hope, by Revelstoke artist Kyle Thornley, equally won the public’s hearts, and fortunately, both sculptures will remain permanently in Castlegar, adding to Castlegar’s growing permanent public art collection.
“We are thrilled to be able to announce two winners for the 2021 People’s Choice Award, though initially it created quite a dilemma for us!” says Sculpturewalk Executive Director Joy Barrett.
“The City of Castlegar purchases the winner each year for Castlegar’s growing public art collection, but with a tie, were unable to purchase both. Rather than go a tie-breaker, which we felt would be unfair to the artists, Sculpturewalk sought community support to purchase the second sculpture.
“Fortunately, the Castlegar Rotary Club, through their Community Bingo Fund, generously committed to purchasing Rebirth by Peter Vogelaar. We are incredibly grateful for their support, and thankful that these two amazing sculptures – deservedly tied for favourite – will continue to brighten our hearts for decades to come.”
“The Castlegar Rotary Club shares in the excitement and contribution that Sculpturewalk has provided to our community,” comments Rotary Club President Dave Kravski. “The decision to purchase Rebirth was unanimously approved by our membership to show our commitment to the betterment of our community while creating a legacy to build on. Our Community Rotary Bingo has been a huge success and will continue to allow us and our partnering clubs to give back to our communities.”
Winlaw artist Peter Vogelaar’s Rebirth, a stunning mosaic Matryoshka, is inspired by nature – she shelters a fresh seedling, the new growth symbolizing growth, held by nurturing hands. Traditionally, Matryoshkas (Russian nesting dolls) are a representation of the mother carrying a child within her, used to illustrate the unity of body, soul, mind, heart, and spirit.
An artist for close to 50 years, Vogelaar is a master in a variety of mediums. Focusing on sculpting over the past two decades, he’s won world and Olympic championships in sand and snow, along with public and private art commissions across the continent.
Choosing Hope, created by Kyle Thornley (assisted by Jack Sutter and Katie Lansgmuir) is fashioned from copper and stainless steel. The piece deftly balances perspective and hope. Is it a wish, or weed?
In the artist’s words, “May you choose hope and make a wish that lands gently.”
The ironic suppleness and delicacy of the metal are matched by its strength and durability, providing robust, lasting beauty. Thornley, an artist blacksmith from Revelstoke, has been creating art with metals through architectural metalwork, commissions, exhibitions and public art for over 15 years. He’s compelled by the practice of blacksmithing — the technical and physical demands, the artistic and utilitarian impact, the link to deep, historical roots, and the integrity of the media itself.
2021 Sculpturewalk awards:
People’s Choice Winners:tie
Choosing Hope by Kyle Thornley (Revelstoke)
Rebirth by Peter Vogelaar (Winlaw)
People’s Choice Runner-up: Ode to Bees by Lawrence Cormier (Penticton)
Artistic Merit winner: Rebirth by Peter Vogelaar (Winlaw)
Artistic Merit runner-up: Space Junk by Rabi’a (Winlaw)
Artistic Merit third place: I Live Because Everything Else Does by Kyle Thornley (Revelstoke)