SculptureWalk – Maple Releaf People’s Choice Award in 2017

Maple Releaf was the People’s Choice Award in 2017. This is a great honor to the artists who created Maple Releaf. It is now a part of Castlegar expanding collection of sculptures and other artworks displayed throughout the town. Maple Releaf is now on permanent display in Millenium Park. The following best describes Maple Releaf by the artists themselves.

“Above all else, Maple Releaf is a cooperative labour of love. It’s also majestic, a testament to the skill and talent residing locally. It speaks volumes to effort, creativity and dedication.

The four creators are good friends. Perepolkin and Macnicol are partners and stalwarts of the local arts community. Verigin and Wulowka displayed Enforcer of Truth last year, a cataclysm-suggestive wood sculpture on the force of nature that showcased their collaborative talents.

As Verigin puts it: “We’ve been friends for over 30 years and we all work exceedingly well together. We figured we’d raise the bar this year and incorporate new mediums working together. Chris and Mary are both amazing artists, so we needed something to display all our strengths. Pete came up with the general concept and we refined it from there.”

Creating Maple Releaf was a massive undertaking. There were weeks of working in sub-zero conditions when resolve sometimes wavered. “We pushed ourselves to the limit,” says Perepolkin. “There were some cold days doing exposed welding when I thought ‘Enough of this insanity!’ “

Wulowka agrees wholeheartedly. “This sculpture was a very demanding mistress, requiring hundreds of hours of labour in severe weather conditions. She nearly broke us but we persevered.”

Sculpturewalk viewers are the beneficiaries of that doggedness and skill under adverse conditions. Maple Releaf is striking. It’s big, bold, and resplendent. A curving wooden cedar tripod frame ten feet high supports a painstakingly fashioned (from 13 car hoods!), wonderfully painted metal roof in the form of an autumnal maple leaf. The detail and colour are astounding, all oranges, yellows, browns and touches of green amid the tracing of veins. A metal ladybug and butterfly are meticulously crafted and affixed to the leaf/roof, adding to the overall beauty.

A welcoming curved wooden bench (also in lovely cedar) sits in the centre, surrounded by an elegant panorama that Macnicol has created on the underside of the leaf. It captures the beauty of the West Kootenay landscape: forest and sky surround a tranquil lake and burbling creek rapids at the confluence, hawks wheeling above. It is lit at night, illuminating the beautiful lushness of the interior artwork and the mighty maple leaf exterior.

There is general agreement among them that they’ve “never done something on this scale” but ultimately it was well worth it. All the component parts of Maple Releaf meld together harmoniously. It is a warm, enveloping oasis that represents “the beauty of our great nation” by incorporating its iconic emblem as part of the larger whole.

A shout out/heartfelt expression of talented local ingenuity and creativity, Maple Releaf shines with the passion and pride of its collective creators. As Macnicol puts it simply, “It’s mind-blowing!” All agree, pleased to be able to display their spectacular work to fellow citizens and visitors alike.”

from Twitter

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