Most would agree that Kimberley has successfully made the transition from mining town to tourism/lifestyle community. But most would also agree that Kimberley’s mining heritage should not be forgotten, and that those new to town should be aware of what built Kimberley.
To that end, a new sculpture by local artists Tony and Twila Austin has been installed in front of the Kimberley Public Library in the Platzl. The Sullivan Mine Commemorative sculpture will be dedicated in a special ceremony on Saturday, May 9 at 1 p.m. at the site.
The sculpture is constructed of forged, repousse` and welded mild steel, and incorporates a large piece of ore and a jackleg drill from the Sullivan Mine.
The finish is colored patinas, powder coated to protect the steel from the elements. The sculpture depicts two turn-of-the-century miners double jacking (hand drilling) on one side of a large piece of ore/rock with a modern miner with a jackleg drilling on the other side.
Tony and Twila Austin have been working as artists in Kimberley out of Dragon’s Rest Working Studio since 1996, after six years studying art in Japan. Tony himself has a history in mining, holding a degree in Mining Engineering. He has worked as an underground miner, underground and open pit engineer and tailings manager.
The Austins are responsible for many visible, local art installations, including the Transitions murals at the Kimberley Underground Mining Railway, Coming Home, the interactive westlope cutthroat trout sculpture at the Marysville Eco Park, the Cranbrook Ed elephant sculpture in Cranbrook and a recent Chinook salmon installation in Invermere.
The Sullivan Mine Commemorative sculpture was made possible with the support of the Kimberley Art Council and the financial support of Tech Resources Ltd, The City of Kimberley and the Columbia Basin Trust Effected Areas Grant, through the Regional District of East Kootenay.