UXBRIDGE: A major piece of public sculpture was installed in Uxbridge last week, in tribute to an Oscar-winning filmmaker, and to those in long-term care and their care-givers.
The sculpture is a 15-foot aluminum tree titled “The Seasons”, reflecting the title of the first film ever made by Christopher Chapman, an eminent Canadian filmmaker, who lived in Uxbridge and died last October. The sculpture is installed in front of the ReachView Village long-term care facility, where Chapman spent his last years. The sculpture, by Uxbridge artist Wynn Walters, depicts a tree, half in summer foliage, and half in winter.
Chapman made many films after “The Seasons”, including “A Place to Stand”, for the Ontario pavilion, at Expo ’67 in Montreal, for which he won an Academy Award (“Oscar”) in 1968, for its artistic and technological innovation. He was later appointed to the Order of Canada and won many other awards.
“One of the remarkable things about this project, was the significant involvement of the community,” said sculptor Wynn Walters. Following Christopher’s death, there were many cash donations in his memory. “But the staff of ReachView said they wanted a piece of art in his memory, rather than an item of equipment,” added Walters. “Further donations were made, but what really made the project possible was the generosity of local businesses making in-kind donations of their services.”
It was really a team effort - the hole for the base was excavated by 24/7 Vacuum Excavation, the forms for the base were donated and installed by Newmarket Pre-Cast Concrete Products, the forms were filled by Spartan Ready-Mix Concrete, installation equipment was provided by Scugog Equipment Rentals, and landscaping will be done by Lawnscape. In addition, the trees were cut, largely as a donation, by CNC Profiles Ltd of Port Perry, and the commemorative plaque will be produced, partly as a donation, by Fontasy Sign and Display. The Township of Uxbridge also made a significant contribution to assist in installation.
“This project started with donations following Christopher’s death,” said Glen Chapman, Christopher’s widow. “But it’s really a tribute not only to him, but to all those in long-term care, and to their caregivers, both on the staff and the families, who give so much. Christopher was much loved by the staff and other residents at ReachView, and I’m touched that they chose to honour him in this way."
Sculptor, Wynn Walters, has a number of other public sculptures in the Uxbridge area, as well as a life-size bronze statue of Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of “Anne of Green Gables”, installed in Leaskdale, just north of Uxbridge, where Montgomery lived for 15 years.
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