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Kitimat to welcome interactive raven sculptures this summer

Public art installation aims to attract tourism spending
A prototype of the raven public art display stands in downtown Kitimat. The artist intends to design and place five or six of the pieces around town to encourage exploration among visitors.

Kitimatians can expect to see more ravens than usual this summer. Local artist Steve Rogers is set to design and install a display of five raven sculptures made from steel bars, positioned around town as an homage to local wildlife and attraction for tourists. 

The Kitimat Public Art Alliance, in collaboration with the artist, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Director of Economic Development, is funding the project. They are also considering the addition of a sixth raven at Coghlin Park to encourage visitors to explore downtown Kitimat.

This interactive art display aims to act as a scavenger hunt for visitors, encouraging exploration and visits to local shops and attractions. 

“We believe this will become a tourist attraction and photo opportunity similar to the wolves in Terrace by the same artist. It will benefit businesses in the downtown core as well as our reputation as a community,” the alliance stated.

The concept is to use the medium of steel bars to take advantage of negative space, “to create a series of sculpture installations that celebrate wildlife local to the surrounding area, Rogers said. “To create a look of a calligraphic image. A reduction of the subject into its simplest lines to form the impression of a sketch on the horizon.”  

The sculptures are designed to be maintenance-free, weather-resistant, and unaffected by wind or snow. Periodic inspections every 10 years will be sufficient for their upkeep.

Funding for the project comes from the district’s $35,000 grant to the Kitimat Public Art Alliance for 2024, with $10,000 designated for “functional art.” Originally, the alliance defined functional art as pieces serving a dual purpose, like covered picnic tables or dumpster screens. However, the committee unanimously agreed to allocate the funds to commissioning the raven sculptures instead. However due to their deviation from the original plan, they sought council’s permission at the July 2 council meeting.

“We believe that this project will not only be an engaging and aesthetically pleasing art installation but also 'functional' in a less tangible way,” the alliance explained in a letter. Council approved the project, recognizing its potential to enhance the town’s aesthetic appeal and attract tourism.

About the Author: Quinn Bender

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