Interactive art takes sand castles to new heights

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
June 30th, 2010

 Is it a communal kitty litter?

A poor man’s beach?
Nope – the giant sandbox to be erected in the parking lot of the Pioneer Arena is neither … it’s another opportunity to promote public art, the downtown core, and Castlegar as a whole.
Sculpturewalk’s Pat Field says 30 to 35 cubic yards of a special sand/clay mixture are to be trucked in for a Communities in Bloom initiative (with funding from the CBT via the Castlegar Arts Council) that will feature three internationaly recognize artists sculpting masterpieces from summer’s most popular medium – sand.
“The idea came out of discussions about how to get people downtown, checking out Sculpturewalk,” Field says. “It’s right along Columbia Avenue, so people can follow the progress as it happens.”
The four-day event will begin July 6, which will be a set-up day, while July 7 and 8 will see the three artists, each with three helpers, creating sculptures out of sand. July 9 promises the most fun, with the artists offering their expertise to help local kids make their own sand sculpture.
“We’re also going to put in a portable security fence, both for safety and to prevent vandalism,” he added. “We’re hoping to make this an annual event.”
Field says the sculptures could last up to six months, serving as the ideal summer compliment to Sculpturewalk.
The three artists to be featured travel the world doing this kind of art – Winlaw’s Peter Vogelaar is currently in China, while Nelson’s Denis Kleine is in Russia and John McKinnon, also from Nelson, is in Germany – all three will be returning to the Kootenays in time to share their talent with Castlegar.
Each of the three sculptures will be based on an enironmental theme – how that theme is expressed will be up to the individual artist, Field says.
Meanwhile, he says, the public response to Sculpturewalk continues to exceed expections.
“We’re already getting lots of completed ballots – about 150 so far, I think,” he says. “And now school kids are starting to engage, because it’s the end of the school year.”
Residents are encouraged to head downtown and check out each of the 16 sculptures on display, then vote for a favourite at one of five ballot boxes placed near the sculptures, or at City Hall.
For those unable to visit the artwork in person, a photographic tour of the pieces an be viewed at  http://www.sculpturewalkcastlegar.com/

Categories: Arts and Culture