Oak Bay considers Sleeping Giants for public art purchase

The results are in from the summer's voting and the acorns are winners with the public

Nathan Scott and Fred Dobbs’ sculpture Sleeping Giants is set into place on municipal hall lawn last spring. The sculpture received the highest number of public votes during ArtsAlive 2016.

Sleeping Giants, the whimsical acorns outside of Oak Bay municipal hall, prove popular according to a summer of voting.

“That seemed to be a fan favourite to just about everyone I spoke to. It’s so prominent. It’s so playful. It was a wonderful addition to our municipal lawn,” said Nils Jensen, Oak Bay mayor. “ArtsAlive 2016 has been wonderful. We have so many wonderful artists and volunteers who should have credit for the success. … It really has brought a vibrancy and joie de vivre to Oak Bay. It’s just another indicator that Oak Bay is the Arts Capital of the Capital.”

Artists Nathan Scott and Fred Dobbs’ sculpture Sleeping Giants received the highest number of public votes during ArtsAlive, and will be considered for purchase by the municipality.

“The consideration comes with some practical matters. We need to know the specifics about upkeep, longevity and requirements for installation,” said Barbara Adams, Oak Bay arts laureate.

While Adams likes the look of where they are, Oak Bay will take the technical requirements into account, alongside cost and upkeep.

“It would have to be a location with oak trees that is owned by the municipality if they don’t want to leave it there (at municipal hall),” she said. “It really does capture the imagination of people as they come into the village.”

Meditation by Ellen Scobie and The Hunt by Ken Hall were runners-up in the votes collected by both paper ballot and QR codes.

“I was excited by the community response. Every piece of sculpture had votes,” said Adams.

The remaining sculptures are for sale and can also be purchased and donated to municipality for a tax receipt.

“The other 12 sculptures are now for sale for private use, for somebody to donate. I’ve had several people say The Hunt should stay,” she said. “I’m hoping a group could get together and buy The Hunt and donate it for a tax receipt and a permanent dedication.”

ArtsAlive is Oak Bay Parks, Recreation and Culture’s annual public sculpture program where pieces are selected to be shown in the community for about a year. Through a public call to artists, 13 installations were selected by the Public Art Committee for 2016. Each artist was sponsored by a business or organization. The 2016 sculptures will be in place until April 30, 2017.

ArtsAlive is open for those looking to participate next year, with the 2017 theme of “Transitions.”

“We’re so excited about the change, the acceptance in the community of art and how that has changed the atmosphere a little bit,” Adams said. “It’s given Oak Bay an energy that maybe was not there before, or not visible before. That’s a transition.”

New sponsors can support ArtsAlive in 2017. Visit www.oakbay.ca/explore-oak-bay/arts-culture/artsalive for details and artist submission guidelines.