Spences Bridge artist Kathleen Kinasewich wants to enliven the fence around the E. Fry garden (top r) with public art. (Photo credit: Kathleen Kinasewich)

Spences Bridge artist Kathleen Kinasewich wants to enliven the fence around the E. Fry garden (top r) with public art. (Photo credit: Kathleen Kinasewich)

Ashcroft council to consider public art policy at upcoming meeting

Move follows request by Spences Bridge artist to install artwork outside E. Fry Society office

Ashcroft council will consider a public art policy for the village, following a request by a Spences Bridge woman to hang “street art in the circle” outside the Elizabeth Fry Society office at the village office building at 601 Bancroft Street.

Kathleen Kinasewich, of Soul Circle Mandalas, asked council at their Feb. 8 meeting for permission to hang three or four pieces of high-quality art on the fence behind the society office on Bancroft Street. The idea is to build community through art, she said in a video presentation.

Kinasewich requires village approval before applying for grant funding for the project, which would likely start in June or July 2020, with paintings ready for hanging later in the fall.

Council agreed to support the request, but questioned who would be responsible for long-term maintenance of the art; something previously discussed at council. Mayor Barbara Roden said while the artwork outside the Ashcroft HUB was done 10 years ago and has proved to be durable, requests for street art does necessitate “a public art policy to guide this kind of installation” going forward.

Ashcroft CAO Daniela Dyck said a policy proposal is likely to come forward at the next council meeting on Feb. 22.

Coun. Marilyn Anderson said she was excited to see more art going up in the community. The village already has murals and mosaics. “It’s a real compliment to the community,” Anderson said. “Our community has changed from being more of a western town from rodeo days to more of an artistic one. It’s a great thing having the colour and the energy that comes from art.”

Roden agreed, noting a lot of people go to the back of the Elizabeth Fry office for the thrift store, “so that will liven that up.”

Coun. Nadine Davenport said she was inspired by the project.

“Art is one of those creative processes that work through difficulties of depression and anxiety, and there’s certainly a lot of that going on.”


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