Newest piece of public art arrives on Oak Bay Avenue

Contest opens to rename ‘Stickman’ driftwood sculpture

Oak Bay Avenue’s newest piece of public art has arrived and it really sticks out.

Artist Tanya Bub’s temporarily named Stickman was unveiled Tuesday morning to a crowd of patrons in front of the Gage Gallery Arts Collective.

The introspective Stickman sits comfortably on a stool and will be wheeled out each day. While he belongs to the collective and will live there, he also adds to Oak Bay’s emerging reputation as a bastion for public art.

His arrival coincides with Bub’s upcoming exhibition of four more of her Dreaming With Birds driftwood sculptures, which are part of the Gage Gallery’s new group show Solstice Dreams – The Poetry of Winter, from Dec. 10 to 22 (with an opening party on Dec. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m.). There’s also a contest to name Stickman officially, with the winner receiving a smaller, original driftwood piece by Bub.

READ MORE: Mayors’ Arts Fund to purchase sculpture in honour of Nils Jensen

“He is made up of a collection of driftwood pieces, just as we are made up of a set of unique experiences,” Bub said. “Inside, he is colourful and vibrant, just like anyone you have to look within.”

Stickman’s outsides are varnished but inside his head and torso is all painted bright colours, and around his body are colourful birds.

“The metaphor, is that once you find yourself, you interact with the world, and you fly, like these birds,” Bub said.

Stickman also has a secondary purpose, to advertise that the Gage Gallery is an accessible place for anyone to visit and appreciate the art.

“Some people think of the gallery as a closed-off place, and it is not,” said Gabriela Hirt of the collective. “Stickman says come inside and enjoy the art.”

The public are welcome to visit Stickman for touching, close-up investigating, and photographing, as he is born of the Gage Gallery’s motto, ‘engaging with communities.’

To submit a name suggestion visit the gallery at 2031 Oak Bay Ave. or send your suggestion to info@gagegallery.ca until Dec. 22.

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