Ladysmith Art Council’s Kathy Holmes in February 2017 as the town accepted a donation of 30 pastel paintings created by the late Rev. Julian North. (Mike Gregory Photo).

Ladysmith Arts Council awarded $20K to develop public art strategy

The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District has been given $20,000 by the town to help develop a broad-based public art strategy which could possibly guide future decisions related to installations and donated works.

“Initially this would be a focus on more of the art that would be built into a new development or park,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Clayton Postings at a recent city council meeting.

“We also want to make sure this is not closed and it can expand to what the community is looking for, so that’s why we looked to the Arts Council to help lead us down that path.”

Development of a strategy for public art, some examples being murals, carvings or other modern abstract interpretations, was a recommendation that emerged from the Parks and Recreation Master Plan adopted in 2016.

RELATED: Ladysmith welcomes Julian North work as first permanent art collection

RELATED: Ladysmith, Stz’uminus hold unveiling ceremony for Transfer Beach canoe

Specific mention was made in both the plan and recent staff report of a partnership between the Arts Council, Stz’uminus First Nation, the Chamber of Commerce, Ladysmith Downtown Business Association and other “appropriate organizations” with an interest in developing the strategy.

The community is also expected to be consulted as the vision for the document begins to take shape.

Mayor Aaron Stone said there is nothing that “puts shackles on what the public arts strategy might look like” and it’s up to the community to decide.

“I think that is what should dictate what the public art strategy looks like is what the engagement looks like,” Stone said.

“For some communities it may be more visual; I have all the faith in the world in the group at the Arts Council that if they can tie in anything sensory that goes beyond visual that they will do so.”

When the draft plan comes back to council it will include an inventory of the town’s existing public art, a process for accepting legacy gifts, a definition of ‘public art’ and possible next steps such as a ongoing long-term budget for carrying out the strategy.

“A lot of public arts strategies are broad in nature but they allow the community to be guided,” Postings said.

“In the past we’ve had donations to town for public art and this would allow us to develop a policy or strategy of how we deal with those donations.”

One of those is an impressive collection of 30 pastel paintings donated by the sister of the late Rev. Julian North.

It was the first art collected ever received by the town and is presently being kept in the basement of the Frank Jameson Community Centre due to lack of space.

“Storage is a problem and I think we will find storage somewhere that is air conditioned and safe for those paintings,” said the Art Council’s Kathy Holmes.

Much of the conversation at council focused on a more concrete policy for accepting, archiving and displaying donated works of art.

“We don’t have a public arts strategy so when we’re faced with dealing with gifts like Julian North we struggled with it,” said Councillor Rob Hutchins.

“In the lack of the policy we can’t deal with the the nuts and bolts of where we store this….you should have a strategy that says this is where you’re going to focus on as a community.”

There was also some mention around the council table of examples of public art in other communities such as Victoria where there is an interactive tree that elicits different colourful reactions based on voices and sounds.

“When you say art it’s just not a picture on a wall, it covers music, sculpture and a really broad range and that’s what we’re looking at for the city is a broad range of art, not just the gallery and where we can take it,” Holmes added.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Salish Wind carved by Stz’uminus elders Manny and Elmer Sampson is a recent example of public art in Ladysmith. (Mike Gregory Photo)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Town of Ladysmith receives $3.3 million grant for Arts & Heritage Hub

The funds will go to creating artist studios around the Machine Shop and maintaining heritage assets

Extension given for Cowichan region homeless tenting sites

Meeting with BC Housing to determine the next step

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

What’s in a name? Ladysmith’s historical streets re-examined

Several streets in downtown Ladysmith are named after generals that served in the Boer War

UPDATE: Knuckles has been returned to LCHC display

Knuckles was stolen between 11:00am - 12:00pm on July 1

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read