Sculptures set to spring in Oak Bay

ArtsAlive 2016 features 13 works, four pianos and one construction project

Sculptures could go up as early as this month in Oak Bay as ArtsAlive awakens.

Public works staff and artist Illarion Gallant are engineering bases to get the 13 works of art on the rise in Oak Bay. Each sculpture should be in the public works yard awaiting installation, says arts laureate Barbara Adams.

“It’s been so exciting that the sponsors have stepped up and taken leadership to get this going,” said Barbara Adams, arts laureate for Oak Bay. “It gives them a month to make sure everything is in working order.”

Now officially dubbed ArtsAlive, Oak Bay’s 2016 summer art plan features 13 sculptures and four public pianos with performance space expected complete by fall.

For two summers Oak Bay enjoyed artwork on a loan program and last year purchased the Salish Sea, adjacent to Oak Bay Marina. That purchase and a donation by Oak Bay Marine Group grounded the first of  Adams’ vision of public art spaces around the community.

This summer the artwork is expected to go up for a year, and the public can vote on a possible future municipal purchase.

“This program is unique on the Island where the community is going to vote on the piece to be purchased,” Adams said.

Each artwork is labelled with a QR code that enables anyone with a smart phone to vote and access more information about the artist and sponsor of each piece. Ballots will also be available in the Oak Bay News and at municipal hall.

The arts walk officially launches June 2 but Adams hopes most works will be in place by the May long weekend.

July and August will include music on the arts and culture scene as pianos dot the landscape for the third consecutive year.

The piano painted by Robert Amos that now graces municipal hall will return to Estevan Village, open to play during business hours. Three newly painted pianos are planned for Turkey Head, Cattle Point and Loon Bay Park.

Similar to last year, the pianos will be covered from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Artists Dorothy Jarvis and Jonathan Gleed will paint pianos; a third has yet to be named. Two will be sold this season, and in lieu of the auction format used previously, potential buyers can make an offer using a QR code on the piano.

Adams is especially thankful for the OBMG donation that set in motion the performance space surrounding the Salish Sea sculpture adjacent to the marina.

“We have a design,” she said, hopeful for a fall completion. “I want to make the opening a celebration.”