John McKinnon’s bronze bears are “doing things bears would not normally do. It’s more like how you would play with a kid, so it gives … a sense of nurturing.” Photo: Michael Dill

Nelson sculptor creates work for children’s chemo ward

John McKinnon was one of 60 artists chosen to create work for B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

The assignment from B.C. Children’s Hospital was to create a sculpture that would be healing for children.

“I wanted to make something that would express a sense of comfort and would be inviting,” says Nelson sculptor John McKinnon.

“But at the same time, it was my intention to make a piece that would have the attributes of a sculpture in a classical sense.”

McKinnon was one of 60 artists from across the country selected to create artwork for the new Teck Acute Care Centre at the Vancouver hospital. The artists were chosen by a panel of children, parents, doctors, and nurses.

“The committee wanted me to create an interactive piece, so I am expecting that it will be climbed on by many children for a long time.”

McKinnon’s Bear Suite #1 is placed on a balcony outside the chemotherapy ward. He said the mother bear and her cub are anthropomorphic.

“They are doing things bears would not normally do. It’s more like how you would play with a kid, so it gives it a sense of beyond animals playing. It gives a sense of nurturing. I tried to create something playful and happy.”

The bears are made of forged bronze. Cast bronze would have been too expensive, McKinnon says, so he tried a technique new to him.

The piece is constructed of sheets of bronze that are forged, shaped, and welded together over a skeleton made of bronze rods. The outside surface is made of 3/32”-thick bronze sheets.

“There are probably about 2,000 pieces in there, and it got a little complicated with the compound curves, so it took a while. It was a great learning experience for me because it is a whole new medium.”

The well-known veteran artist says he’s been a sculptor “since I was born. I was always making stuff.”

He was a student at the original Kootenay School of the Arts in 1970.

“It cost $130 per year and all the materials were paid for. It was an amazing three years of my life and I’ve been trying to make my living at it since then.”

 

Just Posted

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

They support us, let’s support them

Local businesses support our local economy, but they need us as much as we need them.

Genelle ‘vehicle incident’ under RCMP investigation

Regional firefighters respond to car fire Sunday night

Nelson commits to 100% renewables by 2050

This makes Nelson the sixth city in Canada to join the worldwide initiative

Health Canada consumer alert

Flintstones Plus Iron multivitamins for children: One bottle found to contain unidentified capsules instead of chewable tablets

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Most Read