Bayfield Sails Projects
After almost two years in the making from concept to installation, the Bayfield Sails Project by the Bayfield Centre for the Arts (BCA) was unveiled earlier this summer with a launch party in May. Six iron sculptures with bright, bold scenes from Bayfield’s past pay homage to the marine heritage of the area.
Leslee Squirrell, BCA President, says that fostering public art projects is an important component of the organization’s mission. Outdoor art installations are experiencing a resurgence in popularity partly due to the pandemic where people were unable to experience art indoors. Murals and outdoor sculptures are accessible and free and a great way for a community to resonate with visitors and residents alike.
The Sails project began with meetings with Jim Wallace of Sharps Creek Forge to come up with the six structure designs, which represent the Helen MacLeod, a locally-famous schooner and other sailing sloops, all built in Bayfield.
Once the iron and powder-coated frames were decided on, an open call was sent out to artists for submissions to paint the lexan sails. The artists were asked to explore themes that included the natural heritage of the area; stories of Lake Huron, the marina, the village or residents; or the activities available in Bayfield.
With a list of about 25 artists to choose from, the BCA put together a committee to work on the final selection of six artists to each create a sail, ensuring that the community was well-represented in the decision-making process.
The BCA also worked with the Municipality of Bluewater to find the six perfect spots to place the sails so that the public had the best access to them: the end of Howard Street, beside Pioneer Park, on Bayfield Terrace, and three along Long Hill Road.
A map is located on the website, and QR codes at each sculpture will take you to a page with information about the ship, the painting and the artist. www.bayfieldarts.ca/bayfield-sailboats