Reserve fund sets the table for more public art

Salish Sea could be first Oak Bay-owned piece of artwork

Oak Bay council

Oak Bay council

Art enthusiasts can lay down their money to support a public installation in Oak Bay.

Council, sitting as committee, approved Oak Bay arts laureate Barbara Adams’ appeal to solicit donations to purchase the Salish Sea by Chris Paul.

Council approved the location where the $24,000 sculpture currently sits, adjacent to Oak Bay Marina, and recommended that they establish a public art fund within the reserve fund for donations and bequests designated to public art.

“This art installation signals the beginning of a plan to install public art in Oak Bay. Public art plays an important role in improving the quality of our public spaces, it humanizes and invigorates our public spaces, and it also tells a story about our history and evolving culture,” said Coun. Tara Ney, liaison to the CRD arts committee. “This installation sets the bar high, and the sustainable art fund will provide an opportunity for the public to express support and ensure that there will be more installations of public artworks in Oak Bay.”

In a report to council, the director of parks and recreation confirmed they’ve had numerous positive comments from both residents and visitors about the work.

“To ensure compliance with Canadian Revenue Agency regulations, this fund would be for public art in general and not for one specific piece,” Ray Herman also wrote. “However, we could note on the website that this piece is the first one for which funds are being solicited.”

Salish Sea was original installed last summer as part of a program where artists loaned works to display in Oak Bay. It was the start of a vision for Adams, and the first piece of publicly owned art would kick off that vision. She envisions an ‘art amble’ of six art spaces linked by 20 standalone installations.

“(This) opens a way for my long-term project that I would like council to consider,” she said.

Decisions at committee are made as recommendations to council and still require ratification.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com