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Kinship connects 6 sculptures that make up Oak Bay Arts Alive

Annual self-guided tour officially launches in August
Copper Finch by Erick James overlooks McNeill Bay as part of the 2022 Arts Alive Sculpture Walk. (Photo by Sarah Otto)

The epitome of kinship is on display as art starts to sprout around Oak Bay.

The eighth annual Arts Alive Sculpture Walk features a smaller roster than usual, with six works dotting the landscape and many already in place.

The call for artists went out a bit late, but the response was overwhelmingly positive, said Andrea Pass, acting arts and culture programmer for Oak Bay.

The theme this year is kinship, and she describes the number and quality of works that came in as magical. A juried selection left six to stand this year.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay opens search for next arts laureate

Natural Connections, by Andrea Fritz will stand near Estevan Avenue and Cadboro Bay Road. Painted and carved on live-edge wood boards, it shows how Indigenous West Coast plants and animals connect to each other and environment.

Metamorphosis by Peter Vogelaar – a concrete and mosaic Ukrainian nurturing doll – stands on Oak Bay Avenue at Hampshire Road with Pushed to the Edge landing just across The Avenue. The Ken Meyers figurative bronze and concrete work depicts a woodland caribou poised cautiously on a cliff edge.

Also in the village, the gardens of the Oak Bay library host Samantha Dickie’s To Stand as One – a thrown and carved ceramic sculpture with embedded lifelines.

Vordr is a semi-abstracted polymer and gypsum figure by Frances Semple and finds a home at Haynes Park for the season.

READ ALSO: Curtain draws to a close on Oak Bay arts laureate’s term

Copper Finch by Erick James is a powder-coated steel origami sculpture of a songbird. Billed as the quiet anticipation of hope, it overlooks McNeill Bay.

Arts Alive sculptures are on loan to the community, and this year all are available for purchase. Installation costs, including signage that shares information about the piece and artist, are covered primarily by local business sponsors.

Oak Bay officially unveils the Arts Alive Sculpture Walk on Aug. 11, but Pass expects maps will be available mid-July for self-guided walking tours.

Following tradition, viewers can also vote online for their favourite sculpture – named Peoples’ Choice at seasons end. Full project details including a downloadable map featuring the locations of the art works, sponsors, and voting information will be available online at The temporary public art exhibition was originally conceived by Oak Bay’s inaugural arts laureate Barbara Adams to build a legacy of permanent public. Oak Bay now boasts 13 permanent sculptures, one mural and a series of painted pianos placed throughout the community for public play.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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