Gabriela Hirt and Tanya Bub unveil ‘Diva,’ Bub’s newest driftwood being made of full-size bull kelp pieces that were dehydrated down to less than 40 cm in length. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Meet Arthur Heart, Oak Bay Avenue’s resident stickman

Contest winner dubs stickman Art Heart

The driftwood ‘stickman’ who showed up on Oak Bay Avenue about two months ago now has a name.

Arthur Heart, or Art Heart, for short, resides out front of the Gage Gallery Arts Collective on the 2000-block of Oak Bay Avenue.

Tanya Bub created the life-sized sculpture from driftwood as a way to connect the gallery with the community. It was introduced in early December with a contest to name the figure. And it came with an incentive, as the winning entry would receive an unknown and smaller sculpture made of driftwood and ocean debris.

Artist Tanya Bub with ‘Diva,’ a driftwood sculpture gifted to Suzanne MacLeod of Oak Bay. MacLeod’s submission to name Bub’s full-sized ‘stickman,’ is the winning entry. The stickman is now known as Arthur Heart, or, Art Heart for short. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Arthur Heart belongs at the gallery but continues Oak Bay’s recent trend in supporting big pieces of public art around town. This year Oak Bay’s Arts Alive initiative placed 10 sculptures around Oak Bay, its sixth year doing so.

READ MORE: Newest piece of public art arrives on Oak Bay Avenue

The artist, Bub, whittled the list of about 70 entries down to three names and a Gage Gallery Arts Collective committee then voted for Arthur Heart. It was submitted by Suzanne MacLeod of south Oak Bay.

“It was the last day and I had so wanted to submit a name but hadn’t thought of anything,” MacLeod said. “So I biked down here on the last day to make an entry. Arthur was my grandfather’s name and I always loved it. Art for short.”

For her efforts, MacLeod was awarded ‘Diva,’ a smaller sculpture made from dehydrated bull kelp, driftwood scraps and, a single coconut seed found in Costa Rica as her mouth.

“My mother named her,” Bub said, joking that they could host another naming contest. “I could keep giving the winners smaller and smaller sculptures.”

Diva stands on a set of bull kelp legs that were once more than six feet long.

“When I first brought some bull kelp home I had no idea how small it would shrink,” Bub said.

The metaphor for Arthur Heart, who has plenty of birds and is bursting with vibrant colours on the inside, is that “once you find yourself, you interact with the world, and you fly, like these birds,” Bub said.

READ ALSO: Marble humpback sculpture wins Oak Bay’s 2019 Arts Alive people’s choice award

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Artist Tanya Bub with ‘Diva,’ a driftwood sculpture gifted to Suzanne MacLeod of Oak Bay. MacLeod’s submission to name Bub’s full-sized ‘stickman,’ is the winning entry. The stickman is now known as Arthur Heart, or, Art Heart for short. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

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