Calendar symbols in downtown Creston’s ‘Zodiac Totem’

Web Lead

The bottom two figures in 'Zodiac Totem'.

With Zodiac Totem, located in front of Creston Valley Realty, Pokey Park gives us not one of her whimsical, distinctive animal bronzes but five. Representing symbols from the Japanese and Chinese calendars, Park has substituted animals native to her American southwest milieu as she sees fit. The result is a sumptuous totem of animal figures standing nine feet tall and full of rich detail.

Park was raised on the coastal bays of Georgia. There she developed an early appreciation and love for both animals and art — passions she has melded into a successful career as one of the best-known U.S. wildlife sculptors.

Her works are immediately recognizable. She infuses her animal sculptures with human characteristics, making them endearing and engaging. A trademark of her animal representations is the yoga-like contortions they assume, yet remain immediately identifiable.

“I try to express the underlying joy in the world in my sculptures,” she said.

In this configuration of the many zodiac totems she has sculpted, five figures sit atop one another. Anchoring the totem is a blissful frog basking on a lily pad with carp circling beneath it. The base represents both Pisces and Aquarius, the water signs essential to all life. Above is a delightful desert rat, tail curled behind an ear and paws framing its face.

Next is the ox, head down and delicately balanced on front hoofs. Moving upward, we find the puma – substituting for the tiger – head aslant, paws clutching its haunches in a ball and long tail providing balance. Finally, the totem is topped with a curled rabbit, one long hind leg scratching its ear and tail front and centre.

“The variety of the animal kingdom, combined with the cultural mythology that I attempt to inject into each sculpture, provides endless inspiration,”she says. “I use the flow of lines and surface patterns to emphasize movement and balance. Particularly in the totems, as their linear nature demands that the positioning I choose for each animal accentuates that balance.”

Particularly appealing to the viewer is that each of the totem’s figures can be acquired as an individual work. Indeed, any of Park’s 12 compelling totem figures can be combined to form a one-of-a-kind, personalized totem like Zodiac Totem.

Zodiac Totem is one of three Castlegar SculptureWalk pieces brought to Creston by the Creston Valley Public Arts Connection Society. The others are 30 Birds (2) and Bad Hair Day.

—CRESTON VALLEY PUBLIC ARTS CONNECTION SOCIETY

Just Posted

Testimony wraps up in Blackmore charter challenge

After evidence from RCMP officers, crown and defence lawyers move to closing arguments.

Trust announces new $10-million eco-program

Funds will be distributed over five years, boosting health of Basin ecosystems

Property crime on the rise in Grand Forks: RCMP

Grand Forks RCMP sat down with the Gazette to talk property crime and community solutions.

Former Nelsonite stops attack on Muslim woman

Jake Taylor intervened in a violent incident on Skytrain

Highway 3B crash rears up safety concerns

RCMP reported a review of the site was launched following a July 2016 fatality

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Most Read