ArtsAlive expands Oak Bay public art opportunities

Oak Bay to be year-round gallery as sculpture walk grows

Nathan Scott’s A Lazy Day sculpture was one of 11 dotted about Oak Bay village last summer.

Nathan Scott’s A Lazy Day sculpture was one of 11 dotted about Oak Bay village last summer.

Oak Bay arts laureate Barbara Adams’ permanent art walk plan sets the legacy of Oak Bay as a community art gallery.

A total 10 permanent works are to dot the landscape by spring through ArtsAlive, Oak Bay’s new public art initiative.

For two summers, Oak Bay enjoyed an artwork-on-loan program and it recently purchased artist Chris Paul’s Salish Sea, adjacent to Oak Bay Marina. That purchase, and a recent donation by Oak Bay Marine Group, grounded the first part of Adams’ grand scheme to create public art spaces around the community.

A year-round showcase and ongoing municipal art purchases are a next logical step.

“If you look at the response to the Salish Sea, it’s become iconic,” Adams said. “It’s really going to put the community on the map. I’m really looking to make sure this first year works.”

Twenty-eight selected sculpture sites are scattered throughout the community, with 10 in high-traffic areas. Those 10 would feature sponsored artwork on a yearly basis with purchased work moving to one of the other sites, spreading art through the neighbourhoods.

“Now I’m trying to make this happen and to make it happen we’ve got to all step up to the plate,” said Adams, in her third year as arts laureate.

“I’m trying to make sponsorship a win-win.”

The plan is for five sculptures in Oak Bay Village and two in Estevan Village, one near Pure Vanilla and two between.

“The goal is 10 so it makes a significant presence,” Adams said. “So it really makes a splash and is a draw for Oak Bay.”

She hopes to have 10 sponsors by early February. Sponsorship is $1,500 – $1,000 for a chosen artist’s honorarium to cover costs of producing the piece and up to $500 for transportation costs for the art and artist to come to Oak Bay.

Adams plans to have the art walk included in the Tourism Victoria map this summer.

To select a potential municipal purchase through its Public Art Fund, “sculpture walk goers can vote a most-popular work.

“Our hope is the public vote, and should the funds be available, purchase an artwork a year,” said Janet Barclay, manager of recreation and culture, during the Jan. 18 committee meeting where council perused the Parks, Recreation and Culture plan.

“We have some money in the Public Art Fund.”

Visit oakbay.ca/parks-recreation/planned-giving/public-art-fund to learn more about the fund.

The ArtsAlive official launch is June 1 at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

To sponsor a work, email barbaraadams@shaw.ca or call 250-592-9681 before Feb. 15.