Lately, I’ve been trying to get outside more and up my urban exploration when visiting Regina.
Every time I go for a walk or a run around the city, I notice the wide variety of statues and sculptures. Yet I’ve never taken the time to stop and read or learn about them. So I decided what better excuse to learn more about YQR than to research and write a blog about some of its more intriguing statues.
Until I realized just how many there are.
I was a little overwhelmed by all of them. Wascana Park alone has nearly two dozen statues and memorials. Instead of trying to see them all at once in one afternoon, I picked a theme and focused on that (for now).
Which led me to realize the city has a large number of animal sculptures. Have you ever notice just how many there are?
Here are my favourite animal sculptures and the stories behind how they came to be.
1. Frog Sculpture
Location: On the lawn in front of the College Building, College Avenue
Californian artist David Gillhooly was an art instructor who liked creating ceramic frogs.
When his contract wasn’t renewed in 1971 at the College Avenue Campus, Joe Fafard (another art instructor) and ten women from Fafard’s Art 100 Class decided to honour Gillhooly by creating a giant ceramic frog out of concrete and ceramic. Over the years the frog was damaged but was repaired in 2005. Today, you’ll find the frog happily hanging out in the grass on the campus lawn.
2. Beaver Sculpture
Location: Les Sherman Park
Another ceramic and concrete creation, the giant beaver sculpture in Les Sherman park was created in 1980. It was a collaboration between volunteers and students under the guidance of Ken Tollefson as a West Central Canada Day project. Uniquely, each curved ceramic plate on the beaver is signed with a name of those involved in creating it.
3. Potter, Valadon and Teevo (Fafard’s Cows)
Location: MacKenzie Art Gallery
Three realistic-looking bronze cows sit and stand in the grass near the MacKenzie Art Gallery. They’re a reminder of nature and a quiet meadow next to the traffic and noise of Albert Street. The cow and bull (Valadon and Potter) are named after two historical painters that creator Joe Fafard admires while the calf’s name was a suggestion by a student as part of a fundraiser.
4. Reginald the Grasshopper
Location: Corner of Albert Street and Leopold Crescent
His name is Reginald and he’s a grasshopper. But did you know “Reginald” actually stands for “Regina Lawn Decoration?” In the winter, he gets dressed up in twinkling Christmas Lights. During the summertime, he’s covered in green vines and flowers. The giant, metal grasshopper sculpture made by Wilf Perrault is a “Living Artwork” piece commissioned by the city as part of the “Bloomin’ Good” Flower Bed design competition. Unofficially, it’s also one of the most well-known sculptures in the city.
Location: Corner of Saskatchewan Drive and Lewvan Drive
On the flanks of Sask. Drive and Lewvan Drive is a giant Stegosaurus sculpture. The untitled steel and iron rod structure was created by sculptor Darcy Zink. It was commissioned by the City of Regina in 1999 as a “Living Sculpture.” It’s difficult to access on foot and best seen passing by in a vehicle.
6. Oskana Ka asasteki
Location: Scarth Street and 12th Avenue
At the entrance to the Scarth Street Mall is another of Joe Fafard’s creations. Fafard created the giant bison made of powder-coated, lazer cut steel in 1998 to commemorate and honour the First Nations people in Saskatchewan. The name of the sculpture “Oskana ka asasteki” also honours the Cree language. It means “bones that are piled together” – the original name of Regina.
7. Regina Gateway
Location: Regina Avenue and Lewvan Drive
At first glance, it may not look like an animal. But the design behind the Regina Gateway sculpture is meant to be reminiscent of the skeletal spine of the buffalo that once roamed the prairies. Completed and installed in 2011, it marks the Regina Avenue and Lewvan Drive intersection as a significant entry point into the city.
Did I miss any animal sculptures? Let me know in the comments below and where I can find them next time I visit!