Locals are encouraged to swing by Fruitvale Memorial Hall to take a look at “The Spirit of Family,” an eye-catching new statue installed earlier in June.
The public artwork came about last year when the village received a grant toward a public art piece from Columbia Basin Trust, and a grant -in-aid from regional director Ali Grieve, on behalf of Area A.
The objective was to use the monies to purchase a piece of art from a Columbia Basin artist and place it at the Main Street hall.
In all, 13 submissions were received with “The Spirit of Family,” by Spring Shine, being the selected piece.
The artwork represents three spirit-like figures, two parental and one infant holding hands. Their “feet” swirl together and blend into the top of a globe representing the Earth.
The bench base, in the shape of a train rail, is made from concrete and steel. This represents how Fruitvale began with a railroad, and over time, how integral the trains have been in developing the village by providing work, resources, and ultimately the homes for those who settled.
The statue is made from soapstone [also known as steatite or soaprock] sourced from a quarry located north of Kootenay Lake.
“There is something special about stone, it appears so solid, permanent and unyielding. When I transfer an idea, a thought, into a rock I really feel thrilled, like anything is possible,” the artist shares on his website, springshineculture.com.
“I feel so free and limitless when I’m carving. I know the joy I experience is expressed in each sculpture I create.”
About the artist
Spring Shine lives in Argenta. He is a sculptor of wood, stone and mixed media creations. He has created many award-winning sculptures placed in cities and towns throughout the province. Most recently, he collaborated with artists Yvonne Boyd and Christopher Petersen to create a circuit tour of giant sculptures called “Koots,” located on the Kaslo River Trail. The collective’s sculpture titled ‘The Keeper’ won the 2018 People’s Choice award in the Castlegar Sculpturewalk.
Read more: Who remembers the Trail ‘Thumb?’