Participatory Public Art Design Awarded to Local

The Downtown Vernon Association (DVA) and the City of Vernon have awarded the creation of a new downtown Participatory Public Art Piece to local ceramic artist, Gabrielle Strong, a Métis woman and graduate of Emily Carr University of Art + Design.  She has a studio at the Caetani Cultural Centre and was their first Ceramic Artist-In-Residence in 2015.

The public art is being created with funding from the DVA, the City of Vernon, and the Government of Canada as a legacy project of North Okanagan RespectFEST which commemorates the 150th Anniversary of Canada’s confederation and will be revealed during RespectFEST 2017.

The selection of this project was made following submissions of proposals from six proponents.  Ms. Strong’s proposal was selected because it best met the required criteria as adjudicated by a panel of judges.

Ms. Strong’s art work will portray a winding mosaic river inlaid into the sidewalk, beginning and ending at storm-drains ,symbolizing the cycle of flowing water. The design will incorporate a range of materials, including mosaic segments, etched line-work and staining various shades of blue and green with a process called acid-staining.   Ms. Strong’s says the water-themed mosaic, created by involving the public, becomes the fabric we weave together in mutual respect of our community and shared commitment to the environment.

“Vernon has given me so much since I’ve been here, and I am so honoured to be able to create this public art for the community and for RespectFEST. My hope is that this artwork will inspire momentum in all of us to care more and join together to respect and protect our waterways, as our need for water is the common thread that connects us all, regardless of culture, race or background,” says Ms. Strong.

The commission for the complete project including all expenses, materials, participatory approach, installation and artist’s time is $30,000.  Once completed, the art becomes the property of the City of Vernon which will be responsible for maintenance.

The week-long festival marking Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation runs from September 18-24, 2017 in Vernon.  North Okanagan RespectFEST 2017 is funded in part by the Government of Canada. Ce projet est financé en partie par le gouvernement du Canada.