Questions arise around the sculpture outside the Salmon Arm Post Office – Salmon Arm Observer

Wendy Browne remembers seeing a work of art being born at the Salmon Arm Post Office, but still wonders what it means.

Canada Post opened its “new” Salmon Arm branch at 370 Hudson Avenue in 1974. A sculpture placed on a concrete wall to the right of the building greeted visitors. The work spans eight panels horizontally, each consisting of what appear to be two separate panels.

The sculpture remains, although there is no plaque identifying the artist or the artwork.

Browne, a local multimedia artist, recalls the installation process, which took several days. Wood was used to conceal the work during its installation, further piqueting the curiosity of the public.

“Everyone was wondering what was going on in our little town,” Browne said, in response to a Downtown Salmon Arm post about the artwork shared on Instagram. “The result was STUNNING, although somewhat controversial given the colors of the cement and the design. What is it and what does it MEAN!! The mystery continues.

Of the artist of the sculpture, Browne said “a lovely lady did that”, although she cannot remember her name.

The artwork has caught the attention of Downtown Salmon Arm (DSA), who are trying to find answers to the unfolding mystery.

Althea Mongerson of the DSA said there does not appear to be a record identifying the name of the sculpture (if it has a name) or who created it.

“The DSA is interested in learning more so we can include it in our Downtown Art walking loop,” Mongerson said. “It has come to our attention that we missed it last year and it seems a lot of people are curious about it.”

Mongerson said the post office was contacted to see if they had any documentation of the artwork, but they didn’t.

“I wonder if it was a private commission or if it was funded by a government grant?” Mongerson asked.

Deborah Chapman, curator at the Salmon Arm Museum at the RJ Haney Heritage Village and Museum, found photos of the post office opening in the January 16, 1974 edition of the Salmon Arm Observer, but nothing specific to the artwork. In the newspaper, a photo of the exterior of the building includes the following: “The new federal building in Salmon Arm is expected to open in a few days. The top photo shows the facility which includes the post office, labor, health and social services, the latter two on the lower level.

Downtown Salmon Arm asks anyone with information about the sculpture to call 250-832-5440 or email [email protected]

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