City workers installing the Picasso piece. Photo: City of Trail

City workers installing the Picasso piece. Photo: City of Trail

Reclaiming the Silver City Picasso

A replica of The Chicago Picasso was fabricated in Cominco (Teck Trail) workshops back in the 70s

The City of Trail has quietly reclaimed Picasso.

What’s that you ask?

It’s a metal statue from 1974 – a six-foot replica of The Chicago Picasso – that was removed from the Esplanade over a decade ago and dumped in a far corner of the city’s public works yard.

Read more: Last call for Trail Picasso

Badly in need of refurbishment, in the spring of 2018, this homage to the great Spanish painter, sculptor and lover, was headed for the scrap heap in the landfill.

Picasso piece lying in the Trail works yard, circa March 2018. Photo: Sheri Regnier

Picasso piece lying in the Trail works yard, circa March 2018. Photo: Sheri Regnier

That is until Coun. Carol Dobie jumped on board to save the controversial piece of art.

“It wasn’t so much the statue itself that was so important to me,” Dobie told the Trail Times. “It’s the story behind it, the historic value. I worked with Joe (Joe Szajbely) back in the 60’s and (heard) what he went through to get this done.”

The late Joe Szajbely, a former Cominco engineer, saw the original Picasso sculpture on a business trip and thought a replica was just the thing to top off the newly-constructed No. 9 Acid Plant.

As the story goes, without authorization from company management, Szajbely had a scale model of it fabricated in the Cominco shops with a plan to install it outside the new plant.

Apparently the Cominco powers-that-be didn’t share his vision, and instructed Szajbely to get rid of it.

That’s when he struck a deal with the city to erect it on the Esplanade, and that’s where the Picasso stood for 30+ years.

After being painted garish primary colours sometime in the 1970’s (no one takes credit for that) the weighty sculpture became wobbly over time, which is why the city took it down around 2007 and tucked it away in the works yard.

After Dobie heard about the statue’s fate and began the rather arduous task of reclaiming it last year, XL Quality Industrial Services salvaged it from the city lot. Through an in-kind donation, XL workers stripped the piece down to bare bones and refurbished it.

Now, Chicago Picasso aka – Trail Picasso – looks quite lovely standing tall in its new home outside the VISAC Gallery in downtown Trail.

The Trail Picasso statue is back on display outside the VISAC Gallery. Photo: City of Trail

The Trail Picasso statue is back on display outside the VISAC Gallery. Photo: City of Trail

Reclaiming Picasso is just the start if Coun. Dobie has any say in the matter.

It’s more about promoting the south side of Cedar Avenue as an up-and-coming vibrant arts district.

“When you come to Trail make sure you go down to our artistic area and see the gallery, the mural (new colourful mural across from The Bailey Theatre) and the statue,” Dobie said sharing her vision of what can be.

“I want to see us move ahead with change.”

Thanks to the in-kind craftsmanship from the XL crew, the cost for refurbishing the Trail Picasso was around $900, which covered the city’s labour and equipment.

The refurbished statue is strapped in for transport to downtown Trail. Photo: City of Trail

The refurbished statue is strapped in for transport to downtown Trail. Photo: City of Trail



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ArtCity of Trail

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

“Is this my good side?” Photo: Sheri Regnier

“Is this my good side?” Photo: Sheri Regnier

Photo: City of Trail

Photo: City of Trail

Just Posted

A man wears a mask while walking down Canyon Street in Creston on Nov. 13. Photo: Aaron Hemens
Creston resident living with COVID-19 reflects on experience

Contracting and living with the virus, she said, has led to a “major reset” in her life

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Fruitvale woman charged with impaired driving in 2019 crash that killed 2 teens

A 15-year-old boy and 18-year-old woman, both from Fruitvale, died in the crash that sent the vehicle into the river

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

L-R: Kootenay Co-op general manager Ari Derfel, grocery manager Erin Morrison, and security guard Akshay Sharma. The Kootenay Co-op has hired a security company to protect staff from abusive customers who don’t wish to wear masks. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Mask acceptance varies between different business outlets in Nelson

A small percentage of shoppers have tried flouting the rule, and Kootenay Co-op has hired a security guard.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Most Read