On the Beach

The work is located at the north end of Simpson Walk in Waterfront Park (1220 Water St.)

The Work

Kelowna sculptor Geert Maas has spent many years exploring the “beach” theme in various media, drawing inspiration from the time he and his family have spent at local beaches. The 5 bronze sunbathers in this work depict a family grouping:

“My art often deals with relationships. People behave differently alone than together. The physical placing and spacing of the various figures determines the emotional content of the work”. (Geert Maas)

The figures were first created in stoneware clay. Plaster molds were then made in several sections, before the creation of wax positives. Using the “lost wax” method (whereby the wax is “lost” during casting) the figures were finally cast in bronze at a local foundry. The 5 figures weigh about 200kg. The bronze is embellished with multiple patinas. The artist brushed on the chemical M20 for the bathing suits and hair; to achieve the skin tones he used a combined solution of sulfurated potash, ferric nitrate and ammonium sulfide. The artist designed a curved 20-square-metre base to complement the well-rounded figures.

The Project

On the Beach was the City’s first purchase of a non-commissioned work. Council approved the $50,000 purchase in December 2001. An additional $11,000 was spent on installation, which was completed in June 2002.

The Artist

Internationally acclaimed artist Geert Maas works in two- and three-dimensions in a variety of media. His disciplines include sculpture, painting, reliefs and medallic art.

Maas was born in The Netherlands, and received his formal art education at The Hague. In 1979, Maas moved to Kelowna with his family and established the Geert Maas Sculpture Gardens and Gallery which features one of the largest collections of bronze sculptures in Canada, and a diverse selection of his other artwork. Geert Maas' works have been shown in numerous exhibitions and are represented in prestigious public, corporate and private art collections worldwide. Other works by the artist in the City’s collection include Circle of Friendship and Spirit of Kelowna.