This is one fish that isn’t getting away

Blacksmiths and steel sculptors James Karthein (front left) and Kevin Kratz (center right) pose with the one of the steel Kokanee that will form part of their sculpture of kokanee and sturgeon that will be installed at the intersection of Third and Mackenzie this June. They brought the sculptural detail to Revelstoke from their forges at Ridgeline Metalworks in Kestova on Wednesday to discuss their progress with the City's Public Art Committee. The committee members are (from left to right starting in front): City Councillor Tony Scarcella, Carol Palladino, Tina Lindegaard, Jacquie Pendergast, Parks, Recreation and Culture Director Kerrie Dawson and Jan Morehouse. In back are (from left to right): Community Economic Director Alan Mason, Public Works Forewoman Laurel Corrigan and Margaret Pacaud. Committee Member David Rooney was behind the camera. David F. Rooney photo

By David F. Rooney

James Karthein and Kevin Kratz, the blacksmiths and metal artists who won the City’s contract to produce a major work of public art to anchor the Grizzly Plaza Extension at the intersection of Third and Mackenzie said Wednesday they will be ready to begin installing the two complex sculptures of sturgeon and kokanee on June 14.

The two men brought a sample fish — steel kokanee that is 1.25 times life-size — to a meeting of the Public Art Committee where the graceful metal fish immediately captivated committee members.

“Every fish will be different,” Karthein told the committee. “They will look as though they schooling and swimming naturally.”

Hammered out of steel that has been heated 2,000° the different elements of the sculptures will pop your eyeballs and are bound to draw people up Mackenzie. There will be two nine-foot steel sturgeons and about two dozen steel kokanee. All of them will be fixed to large stones by extremely sturdy and unbreakable steel grasses.

“You’re not going to be bending and snapping these off,” Kratz said.

Karhein said they have moved the installation date ahead to June 14. The entire sculpture will be finished on each side of Mackenzie Avenue in time for its inauguration on July 1.

“We’re good to go,” he said.

This is a 1.25 times life-size steel sculpture of a Kokanee that will form part of the new public sculpture that will be installed at Third and Mackenzie this summer. David F. Rooney photo
This was the artists' original design for the new public sculptures that are to be erected at the western end of Grizzly Plaza, at Third Street and Mackenzie Avenue. It has changed in detail, but not in overall vision. Artists' images courtesy of the City of Revelstoke Public Art Committee