Arts laureate given two-year extension

Barbara Adams brokering a plan to purchase Salish Sea sculpture

Oak Bay Arts Laureate Barbara Adams

Oak Bay Arts Laureate Barbara Adams

Barbara Adams gets two more years as Oak Bay arts laureate to build her dream of art spaces around the community.

Her term was recently renewed by council and projects created in her first term lay a solid foundation.

“The Salish Sea [purchase] is looking very positive,” said Adams. “We’re working on a collaboration of three parties to put this together.”

The sculpture adjacent to Oak Bay Marina was one of a handful of works on loan last summer for an art in the community program.

“[Artist] Chris Paul has been very patient and he’s given us time to make this work,” Adams added. “He’s been very supportive of keeping the sculpture where it is. He knows that it’s in the right spot.

“I’m hopeful, but it’s not signed, sealed, delivered.”

Building on the success of last summer’s instalments of sculpture and painted pianos throughout the community, she plans to have another summer of art for 2015.

Large and small sculptures and another series of public pianos are planned.

“It’s going to be an addition to what we had last year, with an additional focus on Estevan Village and Oak Bay Village,” she said. “This is just a little bit more and seeing if it will bring visitors more to the village and people walking in the village in the evening.”

It again builds on her vision of community art spaces, an area open for performing or visual arts and demonstrations, throughout the community, perhaps connected by a series of permanent art installations.

“This is an opportunity to experience art in the community and I’m hoping that this will be something that everybody will get behind and support permanent installations,” Adams said.

She’s meeting with schools and guilds in preparation to again have well-known artists painting the pianos alongside youth. And again, she plans to provide an opportunity for pianos to purchase at the end of the summer.

“I’m working on another celebratory year of art in Oak Bay,” she said. “It would be a wonderful recognition of the desire to have public art in Oak Bay to be able to have The Salish Sea purchased for the community. That is a big goal of mine. Once we have that, then I think it follows the summer art is another celebration, what it’s leading up to is building a collection of public art for the future.”

Adams became Oak Bay’s first arts laureate in 2014 and was hand-selected, with council approval, by Mayor Nils Jensen. Jensen said he picked Adams because of her devotion to art and her innovative ways of promoting art in the community. Adams built Monterey’s art room and started an artist-in-the-school program. That program became self-funded and a money maker for the art department after its first year, thanks to the annual art auction and evening of entertainment which followed each artist-in-residence’s tenure. When she retired, she left the art department with $25,000 in the bank.

Her reappointment is for two years.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com