Passersby along Haynes Park on Beach Drive might want to take notice of the new sculpture – a bronze piece that captures the angles and intricacy of a Turkish puzzle ring with the stylings of art deco and art nouveau.
It’s called Ebb and Flow by creator Russell Papp, as it also represents the tidal movements and currents of the Salish Sea behind it. But there’s something more about the piece. For starters, Papp actually submitted this design when Oak Bay sought submissions for its Sea Lore exhibition earlier this year, he said. (Noted locals Fred Dobbs and Lisa McCulloch won that competition with their Octeavina proposal although council has voted not to mount it on the proposed offshore rock.)
The committee had a lot of submissions and the Sea Lore committee mentioned to Papp he might want to also apply for the ArtsAlive, which turned out to be a fine suggestion, said Papp, who has a home studio on Bowker Avenue.
“It’s interesting just to see the ArtsAlive sculptures around, it’s so refreshing,” Papp said. “Around the world, in places like Barcelona, there’s a lot of public art everywhere. So for Oak Bay to put this together and have such an eclectic display of such diverse art up and down The Avenue, with all these interesting locations, it’s great to promote and inspire.”
Papp, who does art and design, first suggested a much bigger version of the Ebb and Flow sculpture in a proposal for the landscape design he created on a Beach Drive property.
“The owner liked it and said, ‘What will you make it out of?’ And I said, well, I’d like to use bronze, and he said, ‘Now’s your chance to do it,’” Papp said.
That was 2009, and Papp created a clay cast and had the sculpture done at the Burton Bronze Foundry on Salt Spring. The original is taller than the second piece which now sits at Haynes Park.
It’s one of the first eight to be installed, as only two more ArtsAlive 2019 sculptures are left to go up.
Each sculpture is sponsored by a local business or agency for $1,500 each. From that, $1,000 goes to the artist as an honorarium to create the work, and $500 goes towards transportation fees to acquire materials and deliver the sculpture to Oak Bay.
“Sometimes the artists are out of town and we need to ship the sculptures here,” said Oak Bay arts laureate Barbara Adams. “Sometimes they need to be shipped here in pieces.”
Oak Bay public works helps install the pieces with a proper base.
Oak Bay has purchased three sculptures since starting the ArtsAlive sculptures in 2016.
ArtsAlive’s painted pianos also return this year, painted and played on by local artists Gillian Redwood, Robert Amos, Jennifer McIntyre, Christine Gollner, Sherry Tompalski and senior art students from St. Michaels University School.
They’ll be installed at Loon Bay Park, Estevan Village, McNeill Bay, Turkey Head Walkway, Cattle Point, Willows Beach and Oak Bay Village (during Arts and Culture Days in August).
Pianos are for daylight use and are covered overnight, from about July 1 to Sept. 1.
All sculptures are for sale, publicly or privately. The frog on Willows, for example, was purchased and donated to the community to keep it where it is.
The ArtsAlive Oak Bay 2019 sculptures are the Winds of Time by Linda Lindsay at the Pharmasave crosswalk, Connect by William Frymire at MacNeill Bay, Ebb and Flow by Russell Papp at Haynes Park, Harmony Humpbacks by Daniel Cline at Nicholas Randall Corner, Dreams Can Come True by David Hunwick at Vis a Vis, Me and My Quiet Thoughts by Wan-Li Lin and Roger Chen at Monterey Centre sidewalk, Jelly by Nathan Smith at Hampshire Road and Oak Bay Avenue, Portal by Heather Passmore at Willows Beach, Connected by Paul Reimer at Pure Vanilla and Where We Come Together in Estevan Village.