PUBLIC PLACE : SACRED SPACE incorporates place-naming, public art installations and an Indigenous garden. This undertaking by the Comox Valley Art Gallery in partnership with the K’omoks First Nation community and City of Courtenay, aims to unearth the significance of the land upon which the Centre for the Arts plaza has been constructed.
The project involves a place-naming process for the Plaza, the creation and installation of two traditional welcoming poles, carved by local Artists Karver Everson and Randy Frank under the cultural/artistic mentorship of Master Carver Calvin Hunt; the sculptural public art work, Crossroads, by artist Andy Everson; and the development of a full-circle tea garden holding traditional Indigenous tea and medicine plants – designed under the guidance of Traditional Knowledge Keeper Elder Barb Whyte.
The integrated themes of welcoming, place-naming, gathering and healing run through the components of PUBLIC PLACE : SACRED SPACE.
Together, these projects are seen as a step toward reconciliation and recognition of the historic relationship the K’omoks peoples have had with this Valley for thousands of years.