The Rossland Council for Arts and Culture hosted Rossland's first Wood Carving Symposium September 11-13, 2020. This unique event brought three West Kootenay artists to downtown Rossland where three new sculptures were created for Rossland's Centennial Trail for trail users to enjoy year-round. The live carving of these sculptures allowed the opportunity for the community to witness the process of making from concept through to fruition. The artists worked openly, in the parking lot next to the Cold Beer and Wine Store at the corner of Columbia Avenue and Spokane Street from 10am to 4pm daily. The community was able to watch the creative and technical processes of the artists in person, from their vehicles, and online. 

The Columbia Basin Artists who participated in the 2020 event were:

  • Lars Baggenstos - Rossland
  • Mike Williams - Rossland/Paterson
  • Michael Penny - Fernie

The theme for 2020 was “Encounters in the Woods”. 

A big THANK YOU to our 2020 Wood Carving Symposium Sponsors:

  • BC Arts Council
  • City of Rossland
  • pfeil Swiss Made Carving Tools
  • Rams Head Inn
  • Sourdough Holdings Ltd. 

This event was originally dreamed to include Indigenous, provincial and international artists participating alongside local Columbia Basin artists in a live sculpture carving event with presentations and other activities that share some of the history of carving and its influence on cultures around the world. However, COVID-19 kept our first sculpture symposium small so we could keep the community, volunteers, and carvers safe. 

This project seeks to connect recreation, art, nature, and culture by showing the development of a sculpture from concept to completion and displaying the completed sculptures in a natural, non-traditional, and unexpected environment. The intention is to host a Wood Carving Symposium every two years so that we can not only highlight wood carving but so we can create a beautiful sculpture trail to coincide with Centennial Trail that runs from Rossland to Red Mountain.

We recognize that a public art piece that is professional, of high artistic merit, and a subject that people can identify with, creates an appreciation and legacy for the arts by the general public.  The presence of public art demonstrates to visitors and residents that Rossland is not just an active sporting community but also a dynamic arts & culture community that makes art accessible. 

2020 Wood Carving Symposium