Terri Bowen’s creation is one of the 30 artworks in the Oceanside Benchmark Project that are now on display at different locations from Nanoose Bay to Lighthouse Country. (Submitted photo)

Terri Bowen’s creation is one of the 30 artworks in the Oceanside Benchmark Project that are now on display at different locations from Nanoose Bay to Lighthouse Country. (Submitted photo)

Benchmark project features 30 artworks on display in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Creations can be found from Nanoose Bay to Lighthouse Country

The incredible creations from the Oceanside Benchmark Project are now on display at different locations in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

Inspired by the Search, the benchmark project is a co-generational community art project designed to encourage community connection, creativity and collaboration.

The Qualicum Beach and Parksville and District Chambers of Commerce have partnered with The Old School House in Qualicum Beach and the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville to manage and co-ordinate the project.

The benches built by Grade 11 and 12 woodworking students from Ballenas Secondary were distributed to 30 different artists in the community for the addition of their unique designs, changing a garden bench into a spectacular piece of public art.

Artists of all ages submitted their vision of a Welcome Bench for the community. Their incredible creations are now displayed publicly in different areas from Nanoose to Lighthouse Country.

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“We initially created this project with the purpose of engaging visitors and locals in the community and supporting our local artists,” said Kim Burden, executive director for the chambers. “The benches will help to transform 30 different public spaces and we encourage people to get out and explore our amazing community and see all the artists creations. We’re so proud of the results and we hope you enjoy the tour.”

Follow the project on social media and participate in a self-guided tour to view all the benches, take a selfie and post to social media and then vote to choose your favourite.

The ‘People’s Choice’ artist receives a cash prize of $500. Benches are on display until the first week of September 2021 and then will be auctioned off with proceeds helping to support the participating artists and the coordinating not for profit organizations.

‘The Oceanside Community Arts Council with the McMillan Arts Centre are so proud to have been involved with this exciting artistic project in Oceanside,” said Jennifer Bate, executive director at the MAC. “We hope that our community at large enjoys the wonderful, creative and innovative designs created by our local artists. With thanks to our Oceanside Arts Council members, Anne and Andrew Collins for contributing their creative energies to making this project such a success, and kudos to the chambers of commerce for their vision and commitment to the Oceanside Benchmark project.”

Spot the benches by using the map and then make your choice: https://benchmark.parksvillechamber.com/

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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