Metal sculpture works by local artist Blandford Gates to be displayed at Skaut on Kingston Road

Works by Beach metal sculptor Blandford Gates will be on display this month at the Skaut design store on Kingston Road. Photo by Nafisat Alao.

By NAFISAT ALAO

Artworks from Beach resident and metal sculptor Blandford Gates will be displayed and up for sale at the Skaut design store on Kingston Road beginning this week.

The exhibition and sale begins on Friday, Sept. 15, and carries on a long tradition at Skaut of supporting local artists and craftspeople.

Ines Korbes, owner of the Skaut design store at 874 Kingston Rd., said she wanted to showcase Gates’ work because she likes that his art is “handmade, upcycled and local art.”

His most famous sculptures will be displayed throughout the store including his well-known chess set, and animal sculptures that include dogs, cats and birds. Gates has been making metal sculptures for more than 40 years.

Originally from Newfoundland, Gates and his parents immigrated here when he was just five years old before Newfoundland was considered a part of Canada in 1949. Buying a house in 1970, he has lived in the Beach area with his family for more than 50 years.

Gates is an architect and he studied at the University of Toronto where he received honours and awards. He said that the foundation of his artistic mind stems from his studies.

“In architecture, there was always teaching of art because you had to learn to draw and express your ideas… I got the founding of my art through my studies of architecture,” he said.

Gates first discovered a fascination for metal pieces as a result of walking on an abandoned beach and coming across pieces of metal along. He began collecting the pieces and storing them.

“I didn’t know why I was collecting them, I just got some sort of magnetic personality to them…later on as I looked at them I thought if I put pieces together I could create something,” said Gates.

“If I knew how to weld, I could make something of these things,” he added, so he took a welding course and after that was how he began making metal sculptures.

Over the years, he acquired more interesting metal parts from family, friends and neighbours that knew his work and his need to find just the right pieces to complete various sculptures.

All the sculptures he creates are inspired by different themes. “I look for things among my collection that could be used to create different sculptures under a theme,” he said.

Throughout his sculpting career, Gates has made more than 100 sculptures. He said loves creating sculptures that evoke different emotions and have different messages behind them. He said he is also a lover of humour and enjoys making sculptures that are funny.

In the future, he hopes to market some of his sculptures to sell in order to collect the proceeds and donate it to the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

For more information on Skaut, please go to http://www.skautdesign.com/


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