Traditional celebrations were held in India on Aug 5, for the first time Chander missed the event. I tied two strings on his wrist, one for each of his sisters who usually perform this ritual.
On Wednesday evening a local couple came out for the tour of the site and gallery. We all had a really nice time. They enjoyed having a little more information about some of the art works in the gallery, the tools we use to shape the stone and the chance to talk to the artists. Next Wed evening there will be another tour from 7-8, everyone is welcome.
It warmed up on Thursday afternoon but in the morning it was chilly. It must be a big shock for Chander, Gerard and Chien to work here coming from such hot climates. When Chander was in New Delhi on his way here the temperature was 46 C. He thinks it is very cold here now, -40 is another story all together.
Chien's sculpture, "Spring" has been rolled over as he is working the sides. Now that the form on the front is laid out he will shape the sides and back before starting to polish.
At the reception last night in Olds Carlos met some spanish speaking people Richmond and Roser Godfry, they invited him to spend the night with them to visit the family. They live quite near to Bergen, they arrived bright and early the next day and will be back to visit some more through the next two weeks.
At the end of the day we cleaned up and drove to Bearberry for a BBQ at local artists' Dany Joe and Carole Jones. The western decor of their home is interesting, unique to North
We started the morning off by putting a new blade on the big saw. The first cut was made with it on one of Chander's columns, it cuts really fast and as it is heavier than the old one we had to replace the rocks in the counterweight bucket with steel, steel is almost 3 times as heavy as stone. As the saw moves down in the cut the weight on the blade increases and will bog the motor out so a little weight is added to the bucket as the cut is made. We are using old railroad spikes found along the tracks, it's just about right to take out two at a time. This evening Uptowne Olds business organization and Prairies 2 Peaks Tourism Association sponsored a gala reception at Centenial Park in this town 50 km east of the sculpture site. A representative from Calgary Tourism attended and performed a "White Hat Ceremony". After reciting a pledge to spread western hospitality where ever they go and giving a big western whoop each sculptor was presented with their own white cowboy hat. They also recieved certificates bestowing them with honorary citizenship of the City of Calgary. Representatives from Mountainview County, Travel Alberta, Olds mayor and council along with about 50 arts supporters from the community. The sculptors thouroughly enjoyed the evening and enjoyed visiting with people who came. Dave Casselman was on location making footage for the Casselman's Canada episodes that are being produced. He produced an hour long documentary in 08, this year he is doing a half hour show about each of the sculptors. Thanks so much Dave, these will be treasured mementos for the sculptors and great that they are be available at http://www.casselmanscanada.com/ CDs of these episodes are available at the symposium and on Dave's website if you would like to collect them. There was time for a little fun too, Chander Chien and Gerard gave skateboarding a try. It all ended with the young fellow that owned the board calling a stop to the melee and giving them a lesson. Chander and Chien got along pretty well pushing each other on the board while the other sat on it cross legged.
Along with the reception an art show was organized under a tent in the park. We brought along some of everyones work, a sculptor from Bowden brought in a few of his pieces (8 ft tall) too. Paul is the only cowboy I've seen in a skirt, I asked him "What does a cowboy wear under his kilt?" and his reply was "His cowboy boots" We sure had a nice time, it was so nice for the representatives of Olds, Calgary and other communities in the area to organize the reception giving the public a chance to meet and talk to the sculptors. The recognition from Calgary and the surrounding towns is wonderful, our guest book is filled with visitors from Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary. This demonstrates that this event, and art generally, can and does create economic benefit to the community and surrounding area. As a relatively unknown type of event only two years ago the concept is gaining awareness quickly, support and attendance is growing every day. That's super, helping us to achieve our objectives for the symposium:
1. To allow sculptors to make the acquaintance of other participating artists.
2. Sharing of cultural norms, provide the public of the surrounding area an opportunity to become familiar with the tendencies of modern sculpture.
3. To promote the participating sculptors and the strengthening of international relations.
4. To demonstrate the community and economic development opportunities that art provides.
We visited Banff Springs Hotel, it is an incredible building in an awesome location. Although it was cool all day we had a great time, visited several galleries and of course picked up "Canadian" items to take home.