The Playing with Sticks art project is scheduled to wrap up for the season tomorrow (Wednesday, July 26).
The public is welcome to participate or simply watch the final day of the process from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Abe Miller Garden (4912 5rd Street).
Since spring, project leaders Rosanna Strong and Jenny Tucker have worked with YKACL clients, staff and close to 40 other volunteers of all ages to complete a pair of four-metre-tall arches, a 15-metre fence and various sculptures by weaving willow branches.
“This has been such fun to have so many wonderful people contributing to this project,” says Rosanna. “We could not have gotten as far as we have this summer without the dedicated volunteers on this project.”
Together, the artists and volunteers logged more than 600 hours on the project. The artists worked with YKACL clients and staff in April to harvest four truckloads of willow branches along the Ingraham Trail where the Dept. of Transportation had been cutting the verges. Other Yellowknife residents donated a fifth truckload they had cut to make way for a greenhouse.
Students from St. Patrick High School helped out during art classes for a few weeks, with several students dropping by after school and on weekends to volunteer some more.
Tourists, families with children, teens, seniors and other visitors dedicated anywhere from an hour or even many days of labour over many weeks to the project.
“The arches to me have morphed into these wonderful ‘creatures’ that look like they are in the process of walking away from the central garden along the street. By having them lean away from each other it in a way opens up the space between them creating an illusion of parting a curtain onto a stage. We added windows into the structure and the way the willow is woven it draws your eye through the hole to the outside,” said Rosanna. “Abe Miller is a welcoming, respectful and inclusive place and hopefully that gets translated through the pieces made in willow. I want people to let themselves be moved by their inner child and be touched by the whimsy of it all.”
The Abe Miller Garden won first place in the Funky Garden category in the City of Yellowknife Garden Competition last week.