Lighthouse 2014 participant Nancy Cole works on her lighthouse at her home Thursday, in Schurman’s Point.
SUMMERSIDE – When Nancy Cole read the submission call looking for Islanders to design one of 17 lighthouses that would be placed around Summerside, she knew she had to take a chance.
Lighthouse 2014 will be starting in June. The submission winners are hard at work decorating the six-foot tall lighthouses. The purpose is to showcase the artists’ unique talents and to enhance Summerside’s artistic side for locals and tourists.
Cole is a professional textile artist, and said she was shocked and excited to have her design chosen.
“I haven’t done outdoor art before. I’m not a painter, so the lighthouse is mostly done in textiles.”
Her piece is called “Dead Reckoning,” which compliments the nautical theme. It is a free motion, machine-sewn portrait with marine chart contours on marine vinyl.
It was a challenging task and she has it almost completed.
“Everything worked as I hoped it would. It’s different and I’m happy with it.”
Cole thinks it’s a great project for the city because it emphasizes the arts scene.
“I think it’s important because a well-balanced community has all the elements that appeal to residents, as well as tourists. It gives them an opportunity to enjoy the city.”
Alex Maine is a spokesman for Lighthouse 2014, and he said they received more than 100 submissions.
Businesses have come on board to cover the cost of the lighthouse sculptures, he said.
Maine said they have a wide range of ages participating.
It will be interesting for locals and tourists, he said.
“I hope people will be intrigued by them. I think it will get everyone out looking for these lighthouses.”
Joanna Harris is also among the 17 artists.
She heard about the project through her older sister and wanted to submit a design because she’s always loved painting lighthouses.
“I’m really excited that so many people will see it,” said Harris.
She thinks it’s a great way for professional and amateur artists to get recognition.
“I think it’s a great idea. We’ll all have the chance to share our work.”
There will be an exhibition of the lighthouses at the Loyalist Lakeview Hotel on June 14 and they will hit the streets for everyone to enjoy two days later.
The works of art will be auctioned off in the fall, with 50 per cent of the proceeds going to local charities and organizations. The artists and the sponsors will each receive 15 per cent and 20 per cent will be reserved for future projects.
Cole said the artists are doing it for the artistic pleasure and she’s honoured to be a part of it.
“Even if one person sees a piece of art I made, it’s a thrill for me.”
She said there’s a great passion for lighthouses on the Island.
“I’m sure there will be gorgeous pieces for people to see.”
By Ancelene MacKinnon