Regional District’s acquisition of properties expands eco-art initiatives
UBC’s artist in residence, Marlene Creates, has high praise for a new parcel of parkland recently acquired by the Regional District of Central Okanagan.
The 3.5-hectare property at 969 Raymer Road, adjacent to the Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park in Kelowna, holds the promise of an artist’s paradise and the opportunity for the creation and display of public art.
“It gives such a fantastic opportunity to be in a specific ecosystem,” says Creates, an ecological artist from Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. Creates spent the last two Saturdays with 30 members of the public at the new park property. Together, they created natural art projects that were displayed for civic officials on Friday.
The Woodhaven expansion land has numerous natural amenities making it an ideal artists’ retreat, says Creates. Bellevue Creek runs through the heavily forested acreage and the land forms a natural wildlife corridor from craggy highlands in Myra Bellevue Provincial Park to Okanagan Lake.
“There is a wealth of stories in this landscape,” says Creates. “For artists intent on working in the natural world, it is a matter of being able to engage directly with the ecosystem and many aspects of natural and human history.”
UBC’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies has a relationship with the Regional District for creating and displaying public eco art at Woodhaven and is working to extend that with the new parkland.
Creates has spent considerable time on the property for the past month, providing her with the opportunity to be immersed in the nature of this new addition to Woodhaven.
“This is really special for the people of Kelowna,” says Nancy Holmes, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies. “It is an incredible acquisition that is truly exciting, giving artists a place to work, play and develop on the land. It creates all kinds of opportunities for artistic endeavour.”
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