September 18, 2015 - 10:30 AM
KELOWNA - Another fossil from the future can be seen in downtown Kelowna thanks to an Okanagan artist taking part in a controversial public art pilot program.
The metallic capsule filled with futuristic debris is suspended above a walkway in Kelowna’s cultural district. It was created by artist Johann Wessels for the Kelowna Art Gallery and is the second in a series of interactive public art designed to engage the community.
The capsule is the second of a nine-part project called Fossils from the Future that barely made it to Kelowna. The entire eight-part exhibit cost the city $15,000 — a hefty price tag for something that will only exist for six months before being handed back to the artist. Inside the object is a wireless phone, a can of soda, a light bulb, a paperback book and other items. The piece is a follow up work to what looked like a crashed space ship put up near Rotary Centre for the Arts at the end of August.
In June council debated the value of the program with councillors Brad Sieben and Tracy Gray voting against spending the money, saying it wouldn’t be fair to taxpayers.
“We’re going to be the ones with egg on our faces. I would like to see this come back to council for approval,” said Coun. Brad Siebens, who along with Coun. Tracy Gray eventually voted against the proposal. “We are supposed to be stewards of the taxpayers’ money.”
The project was ultimately approved as a pilot project.
“There was a huge fight about putting art in public,” city manager Ron Mattiussi said. “But public art is not for the faint of heart. Clearly, there will be things people love and people hate but overall, the city will be richer for it. The checks and balances is over the long term. That’s how council has to judge it, in the long run.”
A website and video has been created by the Kelowna Art Gallery to help explain the meaning of the piece and can be found here.
Credit: Kelowna Art Gallery
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015