Local artist Dennis Cound has been commissioned to design andcreate the Mayor’s Award for the Arts that will be given out in three categories at this year’s Mayor’s Gala on January 30 at the Coast Kamloops Hotel and Conference Centre.
Cound began working on the design for the award by asking himself: what does Kamloops have to offer?
“It didn’t take me long to realize that we all see it every day,” Cound said. “We hike it, swim it, and flourish in its arid climate. Kamloops.”
Cound found inspiration for the Mayor’s Award for the Arts design from the Kamloops landscape. Mount Peter and Mount Paul are in the foreground, carved from African wonderstone. Notched into the mountains is the iconic red bridge made from Indian alabaster. The sun, nestled within the valley, is carved from the same stone. While the teal coloured Italian soapstone represents the ebb and flow of the meandering North and South Thompson rivers. The carving rests upon a block of black walnut.
Cound constructs the majority of his pieces from soapstone and antler. Working as a locomotive engineer, he finds his inspiration in Canadian wildlife, nostalgic scenes, memories, dreams or “moments in time”.
“As I currently drive trains through the Fraser Canyon, I see forms within the rock, clouds and water. My mind is constantly on my art,” Cound said. “To me, the challenge and reward of creating a three dimensional work of art is euphoric.”
Cound was commissioned to design and create the Okanagan Art Award in 2014. His work has been featured in Woodcarving Illustrated magazine. Last year, he presented his work at the Lab Art Show 6 – International Exhibition in Vancouver. Cound was recently invited to the ArtTour International Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art – Juried Show and Exhibition 2016 in Montagnac, France.
The Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops Symphony, Western Canada Theatre and the City of Kamloops will join together on January 30 to recognize artists and arts supporters at the annual Mayor’s Gala for the Arts. Awards will be given in three categories: Business in Support of the Arts, Craft & Design and Emerging Artist. Tickets to the Gala are $130 and can be purchased at Kamloops Live! Box Office: 250-374-5483 or www.kamloopslive.ca.