Helping Hand sculpture installed today

NEWS RELEASE

Residents will have their first look at the new Helping Hand sculpture today when it is installed at 184 Main Street. The sculpture of an outline of a hand by David Jacob Harder was selected from a Call For Artists last fall. Sponsored by the City and Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, Helping Hand is 12 feet high and 10 feet across and weighs between 800 and 1000 lbs. A tree will grow up through the hand and a selection of words contributed by the community will be etched on the sides.

“Valley First and the City are very excited to see it installed and for the community to begin to enjoy it,” says Director of Recreation and Facilities Bregje Kozak. “The sheer size will make it a pretty impressive addition to Main Street and we hope that the inclusion of residents in the selection of words to feature on the sculpture will make it extra special and meaningful to the community.”

“This project really speaks to the inclusivity of our community,” says Paulo Araujo, president of Valley First.  “I am really proud of the whole committee, which included two of our staff - Siann Pugh and Cheryl Watts - who were able to contribute to creating something that will live outside our regional office and main branch for years to come as a symbol of community.”

Earlier this year, the City and Valley First invited residents to suggest words that reflect their feelings about Penticton to feature on the sculpture. The artist visited several locations around the city to discuss the words with the community. From over 380 submissions, the artist selected Beauty, Nature, Family, Home and Diverse to feature on the sculpture. Each word will appear in 15 different languages that are spoken in Penticton including the language of the Syilx/Okanagan. The artist worked with members of the Penticton Indian Band and representatives from South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services to select and translate the words.

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Contacts:

Bregje Kozak

Recreation and Facilities Director

City of Penticton

250-490-2579

JoAnne Kleb

Engagement Strategist

City of Penticton

250-490-2586