Kamloops represented in new, shimmering public art piece - InfoNews

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Kamloops represented in new, shimmering public art piece

The artist commissioned by the City of Kamloops to put together the piece has finished laying the last of 80,000 aluminum tiles.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Bill Frymire
June 25, 2019 - 6:00 PM

KAMLOOPS — For the last couple of months dozens of workers have been putting together a 40-feet tall mosaic in downtown Kamloops.

Just last week the artist who put together the concept finished applying the last of the 80,000 tiles needed for the abstract design of the Thompson Rivers, called Community Confluence.

Kamloops artist Bill Frymire. describes it as an inclusion piece.

"You've got the confluence of the North and South Thompson Rivers...and the sort of diamond shapes that overlap they represent the community groups within the city," he saud. "And the individual tiles represent the individuals within the city."

It took just over two months to install the tiles, said Bill Frymire.

Frymire was approached by the City of Kamloops almost two years ago to help revamp the Lansdowne Parkade in downtown Kamloops that sits in between 3rd and 4th Avenue. Frymire said the idea to do the mosaic came from Shauna Noyes, a local architect.

With installation of the tiles complete, Frymire said the only thing left to do is paint the pillars of the parkade dark grey to match its surroundings.

The installation of the downtown parkade started in mid-April with Frymire leading a team of about 20 people. Frymire said, for the most part, they had pretty decent weather to work in.

"We had some hot days there, so we ended up working really early in the morning," he said. They started with the west side, moved to the front of the building and finished with the east-facing side.

On hot days, staff would take a break in the afternoon and then continue working into the evening when the shade covered the area.

Despite it taking two months to complete, Frymire says he feels they made decent time.

"I was getting worried about getting further into the summer in the heat and with the wildfires," he said. "Luckily we were able to install about half the tiles from the inside so that really sped things up."

Frymire  began working on the piece almost a year and a half ago.

"I actually manufactured all the tiles myself so I have a machine that cuts them out of aluminum," he said, adding the tiles were cut into three different shapes and sizes.

Once they were cut, Frymire took the aluminum tiles to be powder coated in 20 different colours. 

"I figured each tile touched hands probably about 10 different times before it was finally done," he said. "It was quite a process"

FILE PHOTO - Workers are seen installing the pieces of the mosaic on the downtown Kamloops parkade on Monday May 27, 2019.
FILE PHOTO - Workers are seen installing the pieces of the mosaic on the downtown Kamloops parkade on Monday May 27, 2019.

Ideally, Frymire says he would have liked to have had 90,000 tiles, for all the people in the city, but there wasn't enough space. Physically speaking, it is one of the largest pieces the artist has created.

"I think it was about 40 feet tall by over 300 feet long," he said. " I think it's like a thousand square metres or something like that. So it's very large."

Frymire is a local artist with pieces all over the city. He's known for his mosaic-style work but also designs sculptures and is an established photographer.

Although this was one of his biggest pieces he's ever done, he's worked on more complicated pieces that didn't require as much manpower.

His work is featured in B.C., Alberta and the U.S.

Frymire has also included a surprise in his piece he hopes the public can find. It's something he does for a lot of his pieces.

"There is sort of an 'Easter-egg' in there...I will leave it up to people to find it."

Check out more of Frymire's work by visiting his website.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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