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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Town of Essex, WECF unveil waterfront art in Colchester

by Sylene Argent, Local Journalism Initiative

Residents and visiting tourists will have a chance to capture memories with a new art piece recently installed and unveiled at the Colchester Harbour and Beach.


The new installation – which depicts an oversized picture frame featuring a hand-drawn crane on the rock wall, a boat in motion, and greenery – is now available to those who visit the local waterfront park for a chance to take a picture.


Essex Mayor Sherry Bondy called the new piece of interactive art installation a symbol of the “vibrant spirit and history of our community.


“We cannot wait to see all of the beautiful photographs and memories that you create with your family, friends, and loved ones here at Colchester Harbour,” she said.

Those who take a picture with the new art installation are asked to share them on social media using #ExploreEssex and #InspiringPhilanthropy.


The new installation would not have been possible without support from the WindsorEssex Community Foundation (WECF), which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary. In recognition of that milestone, the WECF has committed to several 40th Anniversary Community Legacy Projects, including the new art piece in Colchester.


WECF Executive Director, Lisa Kolody, said the community grows stronger when residents can find opportunities to make lasting memories, and that is the intention of the new art piece overlooking Colchester Beach and its natural beauty.


The WECF works to improve the quality of life for those in Windsor-Essex, Kolody said.


“We are thrilled to play a part in this,” she commented, preparing to remove the black overhanging sheet, hiding the art piece from sight until the big reveal. “We are proud to be partners.”


Local artists David Creed and Christy Litster partnered to create the art piece, collaborating ideas and vision to ensure a lasting impact.


The duo was pleased with the end-result as the oversized picture frame will not only help promote the beach, but will offer an educational component. On the back-side of the art piece, it offers a variety of information about the area, including on shipwrecks.


It also includes bits of information on how Colchester Harbour was dubbed the Walleye Capital of Canada in 2007. It also notes that Colchester reef is located around 3.5 nautical miles southeast by south from Colchester Harbour, which created perilous conditions for ships that used to haul necessities like coal, crops, and lumber in the 1800s. It also notes the Colchester Reef Lighthouse was installed in 1885 to serve as a beacon.


Litster and Creed said they worked well together on the project, enjoyed bouncing ideas off of each other, and watching as the project evolved from conceptual design to its final stage.

The duo worked on the project for several months, including the Town and WECF to get insight throughout the process.


When drawing the pictured bird, Litster said it was created by a photo of a crane taken at the Colchester Harbour. She spent 60 to 70-hours just drawing those details. Creed, who worked with the metal to create the frame, said the duo wanted to make the project larger than originally intended, and he was glad to see their vision come to fruition.


This was a fun way to get the community involved, create art, and educate people, Creed said.


They are hoping to be able to create more similar art pieces throughout the region.


They both noted they are already seeing photos get posted online with the hashtags, and they are excited to see the art piece doing what it is supposed to do, shed a spotlight on one of the County’s gems.

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