Local artist and artisan blacksmith Kyle Thornley has been recognized for his unique carvings with a pair of awards for pieces on display in Castlegar, BC.
Choosing Hope, a piece that depicts a hand holding a dandelion with its seeds exposed, is a continuation of the Art Alleries creation he unveiled at LUNA Reimagined last year.
The play captured the hearts of the public, winning the People’s Choice Award by ballot, and will remain permanently in Castlegar.
Choosing Hope shared the podium with Winlaw artist Peter Vogelaar’s Rebirth.
“Dandelion is so cool because it can be interpreted in so many different ways,” Thornley said.
According to Thornley, he made an effort to connect his art to positivity during these trying times.
Old superstitions say that people blow dandelion seeds from the flower to make a wish and hope it comes true. Thornley said her sculpture represents those wishes being sent out into the world, of hope and positivity.
Thornley received help from Jack Sutter in creating Choose Hope.
His Castlegar piece, I Live Because Everything Else Does, a pair of lily pad benches, also won an award for artistic merit.
Thornley is a metalsmith artist from Revelstoke and has been creating art with metals through architectural metalwork, commissions, exhibitions and public art for over 15 years.
Along with the more traditional tools of the trade, including a 1911 mechanical hammer, Thornley also has a pneumatic and pneumatic hammer and propane forges.
Thornley studied to be a welder in Nelson.
He said he had a number of plays in the works for the coming year. He is working on a public art piece in Red Deer, Alberta. for the expansion of their recreation center.
The artist is also working on a stainless steel pine for Kitchener, Ont, which will be featured at LUNA this year and piece submissions in Vancouver and Hamilton, Ont.
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