Local artist and artisan blacksmith Kyle Thornley has been recognized for his unique sculptures with a pair of awards for pieces on display in Castlegar, B.C.
Choosing Hope, a piece that depicts a hand holding a dandelion with its seeds exposed, is a piece that is a continuation of the Art Alleries creation he unveiled at LUNA Reimagined last year.
The piece won the public’s hearts, winning the People’s Choice Award via ballot, and will remain permanently in Castlegar.
Choosing Hope shared the podium with Rebirth, by Winlaw artist Peter Vogelaar.
“The dandelion is so cool because it can be interpreted in so many different ways,” said Thornley.
According to Thornley, he’s made an effort to connect his art to positivity during these trying times.
Old superstitions say that people blow dandelion seeds off of the flower to make a wish and hope it comes true. Thornley said that his sculpture represents those wishes that are sent out into the world, of hopefulness and positivity.
Thornley received assistance from Jack Sutter in the creation of Choosing Hope.
His piece in Castlegar, I Live Because Everything Else Does, a pair of lily-pad benches, also won an Artistic Merit Award.
Thornley is an artist blacksmith from Revelstoke and has been creating art with metals through architectural metalwork, commissions, exhibitions and public art for over 15 years.
Alongside the more traditional tools of the trade, including a mechanical power hammer from 1911, Thornley also has a pneumatic, air-powered hammer and propane forges.
Thornley studied to be a welder in Nelson.
He said he has a number of pieces in the works for the coming year. He’s working on a public art piece in Red Deer, Alta. for their recreation centre expansion.
The artist is also working on a stainless steel pine tree going to Kitchener Ont., which will be featured at LUNA this year and proposals for pieces in Vancouver and Hamilton, Ont.
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