Beverley Smith of Oak Bay poses with What The Nose Knows, a familiar sculpture that lived near Smith at Estevan Village for a year and is now on exhibit in Palm Desert, Calif. for another year. (Gerry Smith Photo)

Vancouver Island Nose knows no bounds, tours to Southern California

Oak Bay residents find familiar ‘Nose’ in Palm Desert

The giant nose and glasses sculpture that once dominated Oak Bay as part of ArtsAlive continues to draw attention from its new perch in an upscale shopping district of Palm Desert, Calif.

Oak Bay couple Gerry and Beverley Smith happened upon it earlier this week and took a photo of Beverley with the sculpture on the meridian of El Paseo Drive, a mile long strip of retail stores.

“We knew it had moved obviously from [Oak Bay], but didn’t expect to see it on El Paseo Drive amongst all of the other sculptures,” Gerry said.

Artist Ron Simmer sent What the Nose Knows to Palm Desert shortly after its run as one of the 2017 ArtsAlive pieces. It is now about half way through a similar two-year public exhibit, Art in Public Places, in Palm Desert.

READ MORE: Get a last whiff of Oak Bay’s most talked about artwork before it leaves

Simmer is hoping the Nose sells. And while there was some controversy around the artistic integrity of the Nose, Simmer reminded the Oak Bay News on Wednesday that the ArtsAlive Nose was actually Nose 2, and that Nose 1 sold to a buyer in Twin Falls, Idaho.

“Nose 1 was exhibited at Granville Island and then I took it to Castlegar’s Sculpturewalk,” said the Vancouver-based Simmer. “People in Castlegar are on a network of sculpture shows that link down into the U.S. [Nose 1] went on a tour to four different locations and then I sold it to someone in Idaho.”

Before Nose 2 was erected in Palm Desert it got a new paint job and has been getting looks ever since.

“I’ve been getting all kinds of pictures sent to me from [locals] visiting down there,” Simmer said.

Local Palm Desert journalist Casey Dolan wrote about the Nose on his Cactus Hugs website when it popped up last year, using the critical but punny headline, “Is this thing on El Paseo art? Nobody nose.” Dolan has written about many of the Palm Desert public art pieces.

READ MORE: Iconic art piece found lying on its nose in Oak Bay

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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