Already known for its fish market Gallery by the Sea, Sidney’s long, meandering gallery of art opened officially Friday morning.
Twelve works of art dot the Sidney Seaside Sculpture Walk, two kilometres of seaside walkway starting at the foot of Beacon Avenue.
“Cities gain value through public art, cultural, social and economic value. Public art can be seen as a defining aspect of our evolving culture. It reflects our society, adds meaning to our cities and uniqueness to our communities,” said J.C. Scott of the sculpture selection committee. “Public art humanizes the built environment and invigorates public spaces. It provides and intersection between the past, present and future; between people and between ideas. Public art is freely accessible.”
An acceptance committee, including Diane Thorpe, Larry Hanlon, J.C. Scott, Erin Bremner and Sidney Coun. Marilyn Loveless reviewed 29 submissions to settle on the 12 that start the walkway gallery.
“These amazing works of art bring a special experience to our already beautiful seaside,” said Sidney Mayor Larry Cross. “The Sidney seaside walk is one of the most popular on the Island and these exhibits will only enhance the quality of that walk.”
When complete, the walk will follow the 2.5 km Heart Smart Walk along Sidney’s waterfront. It starts this year with works by Armando Barbon, Ronald Crawford, Fred Dobbs, Lyle Hamer, Paul Harder, Deryk and Samuel Houston, David Hunwick, Jack Kreutzer, Philip Organ, Michael Robb, Louis-Marc Simard and Lyman Whitaker.
Cross figures the works of these local artists can only boost the community.
“The sculpture walk is good for the town. This is a great example of how the arts and business can coexist and support each other,” he said. “People will be drawn to our downtown core as a result of the sculpture walk and are apt to do a bit of shopping and grab a bite to eat in one of our fine restaurants while they’re here. They will also go home and tell their friends and family about this special attraction and our friendly community.”
The artwork will stay in place, on loan to the town and up for sale by each artist, for two years. The town plans to replace the artwork on an ongoing basis, changing up the outdoor art gallery.
“What better gallery could an artist ask for in which to show and sell their work?” Cross asked. “Each year new pieces will be added to the exhibit until the entire two kilometre walk is complete.”
Learn how to submit artwork at sculpturewalk.ca.
More art to come
Gallery by the Sea on the iconic fish market will open a bit late this season. The annual gallery of nine works put on by the Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula will be pushed back due to construction on the Beacon wharf. With work expected to be complete in early July, the hope is to have the gallery up for public viewing and voting by mid July. It will run right through October, coinciding with the ArtSea Festival and Sidney Fine Arts Show.