Artist Michael Cromwell chosen to build new sculpture at Guildford Aquatic Centre

The City of Surrey is planning on spending $247,000 on an sculpture titled “Splash” at the Guildford Aquatic Centre.

The sculpture will mainly consist of printed glass and steel and reflect a theme: “the natural effects of light and water, including reflection, shadow, and illumination.”

Ninety-four artists submitted Expression of Interests, but only one came out on top.

Michael Cromwell, a contemporary artists who’s exhibited extensively in Hawaii, is up to realizing the public art project. Judging by his portfolio, he should be right at home with the nature theme for the sculpture.

In June, Paul Hillsdon wrote about the unveiled plan for the Guildford Aquatic Centre on Civic Surrey. Photo courtesy of Check the website for more detailed pictures of the plan in June.

One artist reflecting on another

I used to be an artist and some say once an artist, always an artist, but if I had been awarded a project like this, I might still be able to call myself an artist confidently.

The most I ever received for a painting was just under $3,000. Yes, I’m proud of that, but no city ever offered me $250k for a piece that I hadn’t even created yet. Perhaps with the costs of materials and maintaining a studio and all the time it takes to finish a work of art you are ready to say “I’m finished” about, that sum of money doesn’t make an artist a king. But it might support a longer breadth of time to create and live and breath your own artwork.

This brings me to two points:

1. The city is awesome for supporting artists in this way.

2. Michael Cromwell has his work cut out for him. I can’t imagine the pressure of having such a large contract. He must be so excited to be set to present his work on such a big stage and to be awarded with such a compliment.

So congratulations to both! I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.


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