Arts laureate proven to be valuable asset

Barbara Adams’ term renewed for another two years in Oak Bay

Oak Bay is moving ahead with a program that is helping to brush up the image of the community.

Oak Bay council has renewed the term of Barbara Adams to serve as arts laureate for the next two years. The move represents a significant boost for the community as Adams more than showed the value of the program during her inaugural term last year.

One of Adams’ priorities for her new term is to broker a deal that would allow for the purchase of the Salish Sea sculpture that currently sits adjacent to Oak Bay Marina.

And it is here where Adams’ true value to the community comes into light. She has proven to have a keen business sense that rivals her artistic talents.

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.

If she can duplicate even some of that success, the community is indeed in good hands. But it is her artistic vision more than the district’s financial picture that will be the real benefit.

Adams is hoping to build on the success of last summer’s instalments of sculpture and painted pianos throughout the community, with plans for another summer of art in 2015. Large and small sculptures and another series of public pianos are planned.

She plans to bring additional focus on to Estevan Village and Oak Bay Village, with the goal of bringing more visitors to the community and offering another reason for an evening stroll through the village.

Adams aims to build 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.

And Adams’ vision for Oak Bay is something the community should be very excited to see.