Local artist Ron Demaniuk has been commissioned to construct a large metal eagle sculpture at Harmony Park after Cranbrook received a $30,000 Public Arts Grant from the Columbia Basin Trust.
The piece of art is 80% funded by Columbia Basin Trust ($30,000), while the City of Cranbrook contributed $7,500 of funding in 2019 to cover the full project budget.
At City Council on Monday, Cranbrook Council voted 5-2 in favour of Demaniuk’s eagle design which will have a commanding presence in the park, which is located directly across Highway 3 from the Cranbrook History Centre.
“When you come from Creston way, you’ll take a look at it and you will not have to guess twice what it is,” Demaniuk told MyEastKootenayNow.com. “It will help the welcome to Cranbrook sign and the people coming into Cranbrook.”
The 77-year-old retired eight years ago from the lumber industry and has since dedicated his time to art projects using reclaimed and recycled materials. Demaniuk said he’s grateful Cranbrook City Council chose his metal eagle sculpture for Harmony Park and for the funding from Columbia Basin Trust to complete it.
“When I do a sculpture, it’s part of me, I feel every bit of that eagle when I put it together,” said Demaniuk. “I’ve lived in Cranbrook over 40 years, I’m not going to move from Cranbrook, Cranbrook’s my home and I figured that by doing this eagle for the city, I’m giving something back.”
Demaniuk does all of the required work himself, from cutting the sheets of steel to welding it together, and building the frame for the art piece. The artist said the eagle is incredibly symbolic for the Indigenous peoples of the area and for the widespread community.
The City of Cranbrook will be installing the base for the sculpture, which will be eight feet high with a solid six-inch pipe, where Demaniuk’s eagle will then be fastened, standing eight feet tall and having a massive 25-foot wingspan.
Demaniuk said he’s done several eagle designs in the past, and that many of his other eagles had pointed feathers and claws, but that his Harmony Park sculpture will feature more rounded edges.
“There’s certain parameters that you have to go by and make it but it’s got to be attractive, you know when you take a look at it, you’re going to wonder, holy cats this is something else.”
The eagle is expected to take Demaniuk several weeks to complete before it is formally installed at the park for the City of Cranbrook.
Demaniuk’s proposed budget to Columbia Basin Trust and City Council for the project included a $10,000 artist fee, $5,000 for transportation of the significant sculpture, and $15,000 for supplies. Here’s the full breakdown of the budget for the project, with all materials being purchased locally in Cranbrook.
|Sheets of 16 Gauge Steel (5)||$600.00|
|Sheets of 14 Gauge Steel (2)||$320.00|
|3/4 x 21 Pipe (2)||$150.00|
|1/2 x 21 Pipe (2)||$84.00|
|1′ x 4′(1)||$60.00|
|3/4 x 36″ Steel Plate (1)||$505.00|
More: Harmony Park Art Sculpture Selection (City of Cranbrook)