Lily May. Photo: RCAC

Lily May. Photo: RCAC

Lily May rides into Rossland

This innovative sculpture, commissioned by RCAC, is in her new home at Rossland Miners Hall

Many Rosslanders will have already noticed that a new lady has just ridden into town.

“Now that her plinth is complete, we would like to introduce our newest sculpture, Lily May,” says RCAC (Rossland Council for Arts and Culture).

This significant and innovative sculpture, commissioned by RCAC, is in her new home at Rossland Miners Hall.

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“Our vision for this sculpture was to integrate Rossland’s mining history,” the council explained. “And the recreational and artistic activities that have evolved in our community over the last 100 years.”

The sculpture is located in front of the historic Miners Hall and is a fitting symbol for Rossland’s gold mining history and the hall’s current use as an arts and culture centre.

“The sculpture also celebrates the feminine and provides balance to the predominantly masculine monuments and sculptures in the downtown core,” the council said.

The concept is a Can Can dancer on a bike with a miner’s lamp held out front.

This strong fearless woman is doing a popular bike stunt called the “No Footer Can Can” which is something a twenty-first century rider would do.

Artist Heather Wall describes it as “a Can Can dancer doing a Can Can jump melds history with the present day and gives extreme motion to metal”.

Wall, currently residing in Powell River, has a background in graphic design, interpretive design, and illustration.

She uses her ‘C’ class welding ticket to produce custom, beautiful sculptures and functional art pieces.

“It took a few years to bring this project to life and we are very grateful to Tourism Rossland and the generous donations from the community,” the RCAC says.

“We would like to extend a huge thank you to the City of Rossland for not only creating the plinth and installing Lily May but also for adding her to the city’s permanent collection of public art.”

For the past 10 years, the RCAC has been building a curated collection of public art installations in downtown Rossland. The collection is part of its Public Art Initiative which acquires art works that can enhance the city’s downtown aesthetic and streetscape.

2020 has been a major year for public art with the addition of two permanent sculptures, Lily May and V-Formation, and three wood carvings, Mighty Ursus, Booty and Cookie, and Monte.

There are now 10 permanent sculptures and one mural in RCAC’s public art collection: The Storytellers (Rossland Public Library); Bears Playing (post office); Rusty (Queen and Columbia); Sphere of Influence (Revolution Cycles/Rossland Beer Co.); Salmon and Turtle (Washington and Third Avenue); V-Formation (Mountain Nugget Chocolate Co.); Lily May (Miners Hall); Mighty Ursus (Centennial Trail); Booty and Cookie (Centennial Trail); Monte (Centennial Trail); and the mural called Peace and Remembrance, Rossland Cenotaph.

This year’s rotating sculpture from the Castlegar Sculpturewalk is Equilibrium and resides on the corner of Washington and Columbia.

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