July 14th to August 27th
Opening reception: Friday July 14th, 6-8pm
You wont find much about Peter Soehn on the Internet, aside from the occasional credit on a roadside attractions website, or as the creator of some bizarre “world’s largest sculpture“ in Western Canada. In a time before digital posts occupied our lives, we spent time outside, visiting petting zoos, waterslides, theme parks and fruit stands. In Furbish: Remnant Themes of Post-Amusement, artist Scott August explores what little remains of Peter’s unrecognized legacy, from unearthing a buried 1970’s Billboard, to posthumously documenting the artist’s mind-boggling studio. All that remains of Peter’s efforts are fading family photographs, unfinished sculptures, and dust covered memories.
Born in Saskatchewan in 1933, Peter Soehn not only created characters of rural life, he himself was exactly that. Soehn worked as a television prop builder and on-camera painting Instructor in Alberta and in Kelowna British Columbia at C.H.B.C. T.V. during the 1960’s and 1970’s. In the 1980’s his family created ambitious folk-art sculptures and theme-parks for the amusement of others, from the demolished Kelowna Zoo to the re-developed Old MacDonald’s Farm, very little remains of his work in the Okanagan.
Scott August is a Kelowna born artist working between the Okanagan and Vancouver, he has been actively photographing and collecting what remains of the Soehn’s Attractions. Furbish: Remnant Themes of Post-Amusement will resurrect forgotten feelings and memories, while enveloping the viewer in it’s overwhelming scale and decaying state. Like Peter Soehn, Scott August’s art focuses around creating fantastical large-scale installations: 25 Foot Cowboy (2005), Bear Peaking Over Mountain Gets New Cowboy Friend (2008), and Artist Changes Sign (2015). He has exhibited at the Kelowna Art Gallery, the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, Victoria’s 50/50 Gallery, Vancouver’s Interurban Gallery, and abroad at Pop Montreal Arts Festival and Chicago’s Three Walls Gallery.
Plan your summer vacation around visiting FURBISH at the Lake Country Art Gallery, then continue with your Soehn travel-homage by visiting his legendary Penticton Peach, his Cultus Lake water squirting frogs, or by trying on his Clem T. Gopher Mascot Head at the World Famous Gopher Hole Museum in Torrington, Alberta.