The next time you drive around the traffic circle near the Winfield Memorial Hall, it might be worth pulling into the hall and checking out the latest, and largest public art display in Lake Country history.
The 20th anniversary mosaic mural project has been built and constructed along the south wall of the Memorial Hall to celebrate the district’s 20th anniversary.
Artists Chris Malmkvist and Rose Braun are putting the finishing touches on the mosaic style and collaborative effort by the two local artists as well as hundreds of community members.
The mural features two distinct sides, one featuring signs from the community done by Braun while the other is a landscape portrait including a kayaker on Okanagan Lake by Malmkvist.
Residents painted 480 separate, smaller pieces to represent the landscape while 21 larger pieces were put together to form the side representing new and old signs from around the Central Okanagan,
Together they form a unique and collective art project the likes Lake Country has ever seen and certainly the piece of art that has had the most public participation.
“I think the final image will look great for a couple of reasons: It is a combination of two intriguing images, and secondly, because it is not literal and will require some thinking and discussion,” said Sharon McCoubrey, the chairperson of the Lake Country public art advisory commission. “It’s the kind of image that you will be able to look at many times and see details that you had not noticed before. The mural is an impressive addition to this large, bare wall, with great site lines from the traffic circle with its many approaches.”
The 20th anniversary mural was a collaboration between the Lake Country Art Gallery, Lake Country ArtWalk and the Lake Country Public Art Commission.
Braun travelled various roads around Lake Country and took notes on the many signs, some commercial, some hand made and some symbols, creating a larger image incorporating what she saw.
Many people took part in the public painting events to help bring the work to fruition.
“There were many great painting sessions held in parks, or at the Art Gallery, or people took panels home, so many people were thrilled to paint a square and contribute to the overall image. We had absolutely no trouble getting enough people to paint the panels,” said McCoubrey.
“The sign montage might be an unusual image for many people, as it is not a typical landscape or traditional picture. It adds a unique contribution to the public art within Lake Country, and invites people to consider the many different types of artworks that make up a diverse collection of artworks.”
The landscape of the kayaker by Malmkvist was recreated by using 12 by 12 inch panels before being re-assembled.
“We are so pleased to increase the public artworks in Lake Country by adding this mural, which is particularly special because it was painted by so many citizens. We look ahead to continue to develop the aesthetics of our community through public art and design features,” said McCoubrey.