UXBRIDGE: The township’s Art and Visual Enhancement Committee (AVEC) will be looking to add to the current collection of community art later this year when the town plays host to a special Stone Carving Symposium.
Stuart Blower presented the plan, which would see the symposium take place in picturesque Elgin Park, on behalf of the Committee, at Council’s meeting at the Sandford Hall on the evening of Monday, May 25.
According to Mr. Blower, the event is planned to take place between the third week of August and the second week of September to allow for public viewing during the carving process. Throughout the process, artists would work in a roped off area that would provide suitable protection for the viewing public. As well, there would be daily updates of the projects posted on-line.
AVEC was seeking the approval of Council to use the current allocated budget of $6,000 to plan, promote and execute the proposal. Mr. Blower added that the Committee would be spending $1,500 on materials, having secured 24 cubic feet of Indiana Limestone from Betz Stone. With the remainder of the money allocated for artist honorariums, with additional funding for installations to be sought by AVEC.
Mr. Blower added that he expects the call for art to go out shortly, and noted that there could be some changes to the timing of the project depending on the nature of the work.
“We have hoped for completion during the Fall Fair, but depending on the size of the piece it could spill over to Studio Tour weekend,” Mr. Blower explained to Council.
Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy raised the questioned the use of the Committee’s budget for honorariums, but Mr. Blower retorted that the cost is relatively low, given the normal fees for similar projects.
“I think that it would be a mistake to not pay people to create art,” added Mr. Blower. “The artist will be paid an honorarium and the piece would be donated back to the town. If everything goes well, the town would end up having three new pieces of art.”
Ward 5 Councillor Gord Highet asked if there would be a specific theme for the work, but Mr. Blower responded that it would be left open to the artist to encourage the broadest possible spectrum of submissions.
Mr. Blower also mentioned that talks have been taking place with the Fair Board for the event to take place during the annual event, but Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor reminded those in attendance, that the municipality has the final say in matters concerning Elgin Park.
“The township owns Elgin Park, and would make the ultimate decision on what can be placed there,” commented Mayor O’Connor. “It will be our insurance that’ll cover anything that would go on there. Personally, I think that it would be a great place to have this.”
Ultimately, councillors voted unanimously to support the budget request, and that the symposium be held at Elgin Park later this year.