Big hand coming downtown

The City of Penticton has announced the winning sculpture to be placed downtown in front of Valley First, at the corner of Front and Main Streets.

David Jacob Harder’s Helping Hand was selected by a jury of three local artists as well as city and Valley First representatives.

“The city and Valley First representatives invited proposals for outdoor sculptures that reflected the values of both organizations including innovation, authenticity, diversity and community spirit,” said Robin Robertson, local art supporter and member of the selection committee.

“Mr. Harder’s sculpture reflected these values and the jury loved the opportunity for the public to get involved in the work.”

The Helping Hand sculpture will be made of steel and will weigh between 800 and 1000 pounds. It will stand nearly 12 feet high and stretch 10 feet across. The proposed colour is blue, but that is still to be determined. A live tree will grow up through the hand structure.

Harder’s sculpture was set apart from other proposals by the opportunity to have the community involved. Residents are invited to suggest a series of words that convey the spirit of Penticton that will be etched on the exterior of the hand.

The artist will visit a number of locations across the city on March 28 to meet with residents to gather suggestions for words on the sculpture. Three drop-in sessions will the run on March 29 at the art gallery 10-11 a.m. at the corner of Main St. and Westminster Ave. 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and Cannery Brewing 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Once the words are collected, a shortlist will be created and members of the City’s website will be invited to vote on the final words to be used on the sculpture. The final list will be translated into nsyilxcÉ™n (Syilx Okanagan), as well as some of the other languages commonly spoken in Penticton.

Anyone unable to make an event can submit their words through or at City Hall.

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