After two years of design and construction, Alice, a giant metal T-Rex statue, has taken up her position on a property in Penticton, BC, overlooking Okanagan Lake.
Alice is about seven meters tall, 15 meters long and weighs more than five tons. She is visible to the public from the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
Chilliwack-based metal sculptor Kevin Stone designed Alice. He says he put a “tremendous” amount of work into creating it.
“It’s surprising. Almost all of my pieces go to private clients and very rarely go to the public,” Stone said.
Stone’s apprentice used an electric hammer to create the jagged marks on the T-Rex’s body, a process Stone described as “noisy” and “hard on the hands.”
The sculptor, along with his wife and apprentice, built Alice in separate pieces in Stone’s workshop and transported them to Penticton on Tuesday in a wide, low-bed trailer.
That night she was gathered for the first time on her platform. Stone said he had used templates and joints to make sure the sculpture was aligned.
The assembly process required putting the head in place, screwing the pieces together from the inside of the body, and then exiting through a hatch on its back.
“The face looks very mean and aggressive and very detailed. I hope it looks good,” Stone said.
He said the project cost a total of about $395,000 in labor and materials.
‘A bit quirky and unusual’
Frank Schilling, who grew up in the Okanagan and currently lives in the Cayman Islands, commissioned the sculpture for his property in Penticton, a vacation rental called Eden Park Lakehouse.
“I’ve always liked dinosaurs and I thought, well, maybe it’s time to build that giant dinosaur I wanted,” Schilling said.
Schilling said he collaborated with local officials to see if it could be placed on public property. When it was determined that he could not, Schilling decided to place it on his property so that it would be visible to the public.
“It’s a little quirky and unusual, but somehow it seemed appropriate to be on that ridge,” Schilling said.
“I sincerely hope that other people in the city who see it are inspired to create their own art that contributes to the community.”
Penticton resident Kathryn Snider brought her two children to see Alice being built on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
Snider said the new sculpture provides a destination point for people walking the trail to stop and take photos, and may encourage more people to get out and enjoy the trail.
“This is very generous. This is great,” Snider said.
Natasha Scott, operations manager of the vacation rental where Alice resides, says she has been anxiously awaiting Alice’s arrival.
“Alice is home,” Scott said. “She belongs here.”