The 2015 Sculpturewalk Gala was held at the Element on Saturday night, and there residents of Castlegar learned which sculpture had won the People’s Choice Award and would therefore be purchased by the city.
This year’s winner was “Regeneration” by Christopher Petersen and Spring Shine from Argenta, BC.
The sculpture is made from 1300 feet of logging cable sculpted into a hollow stump with a bench inside. It weights around 1300 lbs.
“We called it regeneration because we put a small cedar tree growing out of it and we wanted to kind of celebrate the way that the forest has supported our communities,” explained Shine. “Our cities, our communities have grown from the wood that we’ve harvested, and yet this new life is growing out of it.”
“And the materials that we used are literally used to harvest logs,” added Petersen.
This is Petersen’s third year participating in Sculpturewalk and Shine’s fourth year. They were both humbled and grateful to win this year’s People’s Choice.
“It’s a pat on the back, and in the case of Sculpturewalk and people like Spring and I who … because of our personalities, we don’t really need inspiration so much for doing things, but certainly having a piece win is a great inspiration, a pat on the back, and a stepping stone for what might happen,” said Petersen.
He and Shine also won second place in the Artistic Merit category.
Charlene Covington, president of Sculpturewalk, explained that “this category is juried by local and regional members of the arts community based on a variety of criteria, including skill of the portrayal, use of the medium, complexity, workmanship and overall artistic merit.”
Third place in the Artistic Merit category went to Betty Branch from Roanoke, Va. for her sculpture “Emma by the River.”
First place went to Nathan Smith from Nelson for “V Formation,” which also took second place in the People’s Choice Award category.
Smith’s sculpture was inspired by kinetic sculpture artist Bob Potts and was made using recycled bicycle parts.
He says that being part of Sculturewalk has encouraged him to push himself as an artist.
“It’s so good to have a place, a platform to actually show your art. I’ve been in it for three years now and it’s really encouraged me as an artist to explore the medium and push the boundaries, where without this opportunity, I know I wouldn’t have been able to do that,” said Smith.
Third place in the People’s Choice Award category went to Dale Lewis from Hastings, Minn. for “Beaver.”
Covington was thrilled with this year’s entries.
“I think they just keep getting better and better every year,” said the Sculpturewalk president. “Every year we have more entrants, so we have more choice and I just think the artists keep uping their game and bringing us better and nicer pieces.”
The awards ceremony was followed by entertainment provided by comedians Lucas Myers and Bessie Wapp, and dance numbers by the Circus Act Insomniacs.
With the exception of “Regeneration,” this year’s pieces can still be claimed by businesses, groups, or individuals. Purchasing or leasing a piece helps support the artists who’ve contributed.
“When we sell or lease a piece, the bulk of the money goes back to the artist, so that really helps keep the artists motivated to want to put their pieces in,” said Covington.