September 02, 2016 - 9:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - Big man Kelly Olynyk of the Boston Celtics is larger than life, and so is his portrait, now on display at the TRU basketball courts.
The person behind the portrait, Bill Frymire is a Kamloops-based visual artist, who is now making public art. Frymire's work focuses on themes of environmentalism and sustainability.
In the past, Frymire used pennies to craft intricate mosaics of Abraham Lincoln and Queen Elizabeth, and marbles to shape Albert Einstein.
For this project, Frymire used materials that were destined for a landfill. He collected leftover vinyl siding from a friend and visited construction sites to salvage end cuts and garbage.
Frymire applied for and was awarded a sustainability grant from TRU to create the portrait. Olynyk was the obvious choice for the outdoor basketball courts.
Yesterday, Sept. 1, Olynyk visited TRU and checked out his portrait.
Artist Bill Frymire stands with Kelly Olynyk at the site of Frymire's new work located at the outdoor basketball courts at TRU.
Image Credit: Contributed/Bill Frymire
“This is a unique piece of art and Bill’s work is unreal,” Olynyk said in a media release. “It’s humbling and a real honour to have my image displayed as a mural in Kamloops; it’s the city that raised me and TRU is like my second home.”
This labour-intensive portait took about two months and 140 total hours to make. It's made of 2,500 vinyl pieces, each with three aluminum rings, totalling 7,500 rings.
Frymire credits his focus on environmental work to his Metis heritage.
"I'm Metis, and my grandfather instilled in me a great love for nature. Now I'm in a position where I can make a difference by promoting environmental sustainability. It aligns with my Native heritage," Frymire said.
Stay tuned, there could be more from Frymire in the coming year. He was awarded a sustainability grant from TRU, and a B.C. Festival of the Arts Legacy Fund grant from the City of Kamloops. He didn't use all the funds allotted on this work. Frymire is planning to use what he learned on this project, and the leftover money to create another piece.
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