New public artwork brings ‘Equilibrium’ to Rossland’s downtown sculptures

Ducharme’s piece won the Overall Artistic Merit Award at last year’s Sculpturewalk in Castlegar.

Equilibrium depicts the beauty of balance and athleticism. Submitted photo

A gravity-defying sculpture has just appeared on the streets of Rossland, portraying an athlete in a challenging balancing act.

Equilibrium has recently been installed at the corner of Washington Street and Columbia Avenue. The award-winning piece was created by David Ducharme from Winlaw and is Rossland’s latest sculpture leased through RCAC’s rotating sculpture program.

Ducharme describes his piece as exploring “the common ground between our body and our life where we seek a sense of harmony, rhythm and flexibility within the way we move through space and interact with people.”

The muscularity of the head-down figure balanced single-armed on the top of the pole, his other arm thrown out wide and legs splayed just right to maintain the pose, is apparent. It brings to mind the incredulity felt at seeing top-tier gymnasts or skilled acrobats perform intricate and incredible movement so effortlessly. The flexibility and agility Ducharme portrays, and accomplishes, personifies both physicality and delicacy.

At the 2018 Castlegar Sculpturewalk gala, Ducharme’s piece won the Overall Artistic Merit Award and was the runner-up for the People’s Choice Award.

The RCAC’s public art initiative is focused on bringing unique sculptures to Rossland that resonate with the community and stimulate discussion around art and the different subjects it portrays. The public art committee felt Equilibrium would not only add interest to downtown but also complement the athletic spirit Rossland is known for.

“To me it portrays the sense of balance that many of us try to find between work and play, or art and recreation,” says RCAC’s public art committee chair Renate Fleming. “We are extremely pleased that we can have this unique and dynamic sculpture in our community for the year.”

Since 2014 the RCAC, has been participating in the West Kootenay regional Sculpturewalk program by hosting one or two sculptures each year. Each year, RCAC, in consultation with the City of Rossland, selects a new sculpture from the Castlegar Sculpturewalk collection. In addition to Equilibrium, the RCAC is leasing V-Formation for another year. This popular interactive piece, displaying a flock of flying geese, is outside the Mountain Nugget Chocolate Company.

The RCAC has reached out to the local business community for financial support to help keep this popular sculpture program alive.

“Our funders want to see community buy-in and we have been able to demonstrate that. The support has been overwhelming. We will be approaching different businesses and sponsors each year to continue this program,” says Fleming.

For the past 10 years, the RCAC has also been building a curated collection of permanent public art pieces in Rossland to enhance the downtown core, with five permanent sculptures installed. Another piece will soon be added, in front of the Miners Hall.

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