To Heffley Lake artist Leslie Bolin, 2012 is a time to pause and reflect on art and life, not that she believes in the Mayan prophecy about the end of the world.
Bolin's entry in the Kamloops Arts Council's juried art show and sale, which opened Friday at the Old Courthouse Cultural Centre, does precisely that as metaphor for balance and reflection.
Simply entitled 2012, her sculptural installation is a set of balanced glass tiers and mirrors topped by 1,006 ceramic fortune cookies. The mirrors create reflections of objects not visible without close inspection.
"I just feel that this year has had an attachment of great energy on different levels by many people for different reasons," she said Friday while installing the piece. "This gives them the power to reflect on their own interpretation."
Viewers are invited to share their own "parables, prose, poems, prophecies and postulations" on rice paper and deposit them in an attached box.
"This is really a pause for reflection, to take the time to be conscious about art and life."
While there is almost endless speculation about the meaning of the Mayan prophecy — heck, they even shot the apocalyptic film 2012 in the region — Bolin has a personal reason for reflection. The sculpture represents her first public showing since a horrific motor vehicle accident five years ago on Tod Mountain Road. The fine-art ceramist and her husband were rear-ended by a semi-trailer, the impact knocking their motor home on its side and sending it sliding down the road.
Bolin's head hit the pavement and she suffered a concussion. Her withdrawal in the interim was somewhat symptomatic of concussion syndrome. A work of public art, her first, seemed to fit the bill.
"It was time for us to create healing on a whole different level," she said. "I was delighted to see the call for entries, which is a great opportunity for me and for many artists in the community."
Evidently, others agreed. The arts council was overwhelmed with 154 entries at its first juried art show in 2011 — the Old Courthouse has its space limitations — so they revised the rules this year in hope of seeing a more manageable response.
"No. This year we have 187 pieces," said Jacquie Brand, manager. "Even after the deadline, we had 20 people trying to submit pieces."
To accommodate the show, they pulled out all the stops on two floors, bringing in more panels and plinths, opening up a storage room for display and even making use of an alcove to hang art.
The creative outpouring represents the main event of the year for visual artists across the region. Entries of diverse media and intriguing design represent established as well as emerging artists "coming out of the woodwork," Brand noted.
Woodwork certainly caught the eyes of the jurors. An untitled, larger-than-life sculpture of a steer skull by Merritt carver Joe Ratushniak — his work a wonder of technical skill — won first prize.
Annette Dominik, best known for her prowess as a violinist, reveals another talent with Lore, an acrylic painting that took second prize. Rayleigh ceramist Karen Palmer won third for Nazeem, a slip-cover vase.
Honourable mentions go to: Amanda Buder; Brenda Hill; Jeff Porter; Madelaine Wideman; Patricia Kellogg; Ron Chertkow; Wendy Weseen; Ken Beck; Julie Flowerdew; and Martin Wildeman.
A people's choice award will be determined by visitors to the show and sale, which continues until Feb. 26.