Penticton’s beloved sun goddess statue is no more.
Concerned residents took to social media this weekend about the missing statue named ‘Dawn.’
The Penticton Regional Hospital Art Committee has taken her down and will be adding four new sculptures in her place along the gravel paths connecting to the hospital at Industrial Ave.
There is a sign attached to the ‘Dawn’ statue’s platform saying, “Watch for four new installations late May 2021.”
‘Dawn’ had recently been vandalized for the second time in recent months. The statue sits at the corner of Government Street and Industrial Avenue.
The statue used to hoist a quartz sun above her head, but vandals smashed that in April 2020.
Since then, locals have taken the opportunity to have a bit of fun and make sure Dawn’s empty hands are put to good use by placing items like fruit and vegetables in her hands, most recently a baby doll.
Then last month, someone poured pink paint all over her head.
“Someone dumped what I can only guess is paint on the sun goddess statue by the hospital. It chips off pretty easily. I got what I could off her face at least, but would someone maybe go give her a scrub?” said Anne Ramey, who tried to scrub the paint off herself.
Idris Hudson, an advocate for those experiencing homelessness who has been homeless himself, also gave Dawn ‘a spa day’ after seeing one of the community’s favourite art pieces had been vandalized. Many took to Facebook, thanking him for grooving to his music while he was giving her a wipe down.
“I walk by Dawn a couple of times a night when I’m doing volunteer outreach. Lots of times, there are people sleeping along the creek, so I go out to see if they will walk to a shelter or something warm,” said Hudson at the time.
“I love walking by Dawn because there’s always something clever someone has added. Sometimes a cool book or a flower, never anything permanent. My momma was the one who pointed me to the Penticton message board about paint on her. It was so beautiful to see how emotionally this piece of art connects with Penticton,” said Hudson, who is also an artist.
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