City entry sign denied
Kelowna city council shot down an agreement with Canadian artist Ted Fullerton on Monday for a new City entry sign.
Fullerton's work titled "Imagine" included the word Kelowna and a number of semi-abstract figures that shift with your perspective.
Councillor Loyal Wooldridge expressed concerns about Indigenous representation and mixing art with a city sign.
“I 100% agreed with public art throughout the city I think it creates conversation and animates. I'm not 100% confident that art is best suited for welcome sign because from my perspective art evokes emotion and when people are visiting our city for the very first time we want to welcome them not necessarily evoke some sort of emotion they might not necessarily feel comfortable or whatever that is.”
Councillor Luke Stack had other reasons not to support the project.
“I do see this as a sign issue and not an art issue. So, as some of the other councillors have raised concerns today, one of the concerns I had was the size of the sign, the lighting of the sign, I'm generally okay with the location but I don't see it as an art location as much as a welcome sign location”
While some councillors took issue with design and location, Mayor Colin Basran disagreed.
“I do actually think that the sign and the art are indicative of where we are going as a city. it's inclusionary, it's divers and it's indicative of a city that's growing from it's agricultural and tourism roots but what I suspect we'll end up with now is very similar to what every other city in the Okanagan has but we are not a city like every other city in the Okanagan.”
The art piece was turned down in a 6 to 3 vote.
Councillors Hodge, Stack, Dehart, Sieben, Wooldridge and Singh were opposed.