News » Whistler

public art

Osprey, Murray sculptures first major outdoor artworks Bronze sculptures of an osprey in flight and Dave Murray racing downhill will be the first two major public outdoor artworks in Whistler. Sculptor George Schmerholz, a former resident of Whistler, has cast the osprey, which is on display in the Whistler Village Art Gallery, and will create the Murray sculpture. The osprey in flight will sit atop the municipal entry sign. A bronze plaque will explain that the osprey is a symbol of responsibility and vitality, that it always returns to the same place to nest and mates for life, yet it is wild and part of nature. The Murray sculpture will be the first piece of public art to fall under the mandate of the municipality’s Art in Public Places Program. The Public Art Planning Group, which will be appointed by the end of the year, will determine a location for the sculptor. Corporate sponsorship will be sought to fund the work. Schmerholz, who resides in Vancouver, lived in Whistler from 1973 to 1976. He said Monday he has had a dream of creating a sculpture of the ultimate form of skiing — downhill racing — for years. He met Murray when he lived in Whistler and the late World Cup racer was to have been technical advisor for the project. "I felt I wanted to pick up the pieces, and create a memorial to Dave Murray," Schmerholz said of his proposal to the municipality. The life-size sculpture will sit on top of a piece of white marble, on top of a boulder. The piece should be in place by the end of 1996. Schmerholz’s work includes a humpback whale, on display in Toronto, and an eagle with prey, on display in the Hong Kong Bank of Canada. Schmerholz indicated he would like to say involved in the municipality’s Art in Public Places program.