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Kootenay Life Obelisk

A Memory In Tow

Year: 2019
Medium: steel and wood
Dimensions: 40" x 120" x 18"


Paul Reimer

Cranbrook, BC

Often, the concept of a sculpture is the most daunting part. What transpires in the mind and on paper sometimes becomes another thing altogether. Then there are the moments when the conceptualization is realized beyond expectations. Such is the case with Paul Reimer’s spectacular entry this year.

A collaboration with the 2019 graduating class of Stanley Humphries Secondary School, his sculpture is both functional – a bench for all to enjoy – and a commemoration of a very special individual.

Well known local tow truck operator and businessman Wayne Kernachan passed away last year. His son Keegan had graduated from the high school a few years previously. A warm and generous man, his passing prompted the graduating class to commission a work that ensures he will be remembered.

Reimer’s loving sculpture pays tribute to the man and what he meant to the students and the community both. It is fitting, moving, and wonderfully executed.

He captures the embodiment of the man in austere contrasts. Reimer has sculpted the frame of a flatbed (tow) truck in white tubular steel. It is skeletal but exactly, fittingly perfect. With great attention to detail (the air horn, the cab step up, the curved fenders, and much more) Reimer honours the man in stark white and contrasting black wheels and understructure.

Behind the cab frame is wood decking intended for sitting on. It melds seamlessly, and as a stunning counterpoint, with the fluid, streamlined white frame to create a beautiful, functional and heartfelt tribute.

In addition to numerous public installations across western Canada and in the United States, Reimer has a number of his public sculptures installed in and around his hometown. His family, community, and “giving back”, as he modestly puts it, are all-important to him.

His honouring collaboration with the graduating class speaks highly of all involved. Understandably, A Memory In Tow is unavailable for the Peoples Choice Award, and that is as it should be.

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