Renowned sculptor Christina Nick has gifted a beautiful welded steel and mixed media piece for permanent display on the Selkirk College Castlegar Campus.
Called Salmon, the piece was first featured in Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2012 and then moved to the Castlegar Campus where a lease agreement sponsored by Teck Trail Operations allowed students and staff to enjoy the colourful, three-dimensional welded fish. On display for the past seven years, Nick made the decision to donate the funky spawners to the college so it can continue to provide a fitting reminder of the relevance of salmon in the history of the region.
“It’s an important piece for us on several levels,” says John Kincaid, Selkirk College’s Vice President of Students & Advancement. “The Castlegar Campus is located at the confluence of the Columbia and Kootenay rivers where the fishery has played a key role throughout time. We are very grateful for this gift and will ensure it continues to be featured prominently.”
A well-known Canadian artist, Nick splits her time between studios in Brackendale, BC and Serres Morlaas, France. With Salmon, she was inspired by local rivers to create a sculpture that used recycled metal to form distinctive body patterns of the fish that were shaped by cold hammering and welding them into heads, fins and tails. More than a dozen individual fish shimmer and shine with gold, red, brown, blue and silver tones.
“The viewer will look at the fish against the sky as if they were underwater, the spawners swimming along above,” Nick says about the piece.
Now in its tenth year, Castlegar Sculpturewalk features original sculptures by local and international artists displayed on a walking tour through the downtown. Highly popular with both locals and visitors, this year’s program has 30 works of art that are voted on by viewers with $25,000 in prize money given away annually. Over the last few years, Castlegar Sculpturewalk has expanded regionally with sculptures featured in Revelstoke, Nakusp, Penticton, Creston, Rossland and Nelson.
As one of the more bustling hubs of activity in the region, Castlegar Sculpturewalk President Sandy Battista is pleased to have an important legacy of the event permanently placed on campus for all to enjoy.
“It’s an amazing way to help students connect with the artistic side and the nature side,” Battista says. “Students get immersed in their studies, but this campus is located in such a beautiful setting where they can enjoy the outdoors, so it’s great to mix in some wonderful art.”
Salmonis displayed on a small hill outside the well-traveled main gymnasium building where students, staff and visitors can enjoy it on a daily basis.
“We have students coming from across Canada and around the world, so it’s an important reminder of where we live,” says Kincaid. “It helps illustrate our connection to the community, to the land and to the water. It means a lot to have this as a permanent part of our Castlegar Campus.”
Learn more about Selkirk College programs and services at selkirk.ca.