sky background

Bruce Flowers Sculpture Garden Commission

bronze sculpture arch topped with a little boy holding a weather vain in a park

The Bruce Flowers Sculpture Garden Commission was installed in 2023 and is the City of Woodstock's first public art commission.

On Sept. 12, 2021, the Woodstock Art Gallery launched a call to artists for a public artwork to recognize the contributions of local artist and educator Bruce Flowers. The shortlisted artists from this call were David Bobier, Nicholas Crombach, Simon Frank and Patrick Thibert.

Nicholas Crombach’s proposal, Wind Vane, was selected by the public art committee following a review by city staff and consultation with the community. The sculpture was installed in Florence Carlyle Park (169 Vansittart Ave.) on Nov. 15, 2023.

Artist and educator (Robert) Bruce Flowers passed away on Sept. 10, 2018, and left the residual of his estate to the Woodstock Art Gallery with the provision that the funds be used “for the purpose of establishing an outside figurative sculpture garden.”

Artist Statement

My intent for the Bruce Flowers Sculpture Garden commission is to connect park visitors with local history and heritage, through the use of dramatic and familiar imagery, as well as to prompt them to reflect on our past, present and future relationship to technology and the environment. The sculpture entitled Wind Vane, takes the form of a large arch with a youth perched on top, engaged in the difficult task of positioning a weathervane. The sculpture makes direct reference to Woodstock's rich agricultural heritage, and affirms our fundamental dependence on the earth and its systems — from the weather and soil, to the plants and organisms, to the farmers who work the land and the larger community sustained by them.

Rendering of a bronze sculpture arch topped with a little boy holding a weather vain in a park

About Nicholas Crombach

Nicholas Crombach is an artist working in Kingston, Ont. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award. Crombach has presented solo exhibitions in various cities in Canada, as well as in London, and Berlin. He has completed public art commissions in Kingston, Niagara Falls and Woodstock. Crombach's work is represented in private and public collections including the Woodstock Art Gallery, the City of Kingston Civic Collection and the City of Ottawa Art Collection. He has participated in several residencies including the Studios at The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, Massachusetts in 2022. Crombach has received support from public agencies including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. 

Nicholas Crombach

About Bruce Flowers

(Robert) Bruce Flowers was born and educated in Woodstock, Ont. He graduated with an Honors BA in Fine Arts from the University of Guelph in 1970 and earned his teaching accreditation at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont. After teaching for 10 years with the Oxford Board of Education, he pursued his dream of sculpting, taking his Master of Fine Art (MFA) in New York at the Pratt Institute between 1982 and 1984. He returned to teaching visual arts with the Thames Valley Board of Education in 1986 and retired in 2002 to pursue his sculpting full time. Flowers was part of a number of exhibitions at the Woodstock Art Gallery and was a passionate and inspirational art educator in Woodstock for decades. He was also one of the founding committee members of the one of the longest-running Pride events in North America, the Pride London Festival Art Exhibition, established in 1992. 

Shortlisted Artists and Proposals

David Bobier

Proposed Sculpture: Caring Hands

The thematic concepts of this commission are attractive to me as they encompass predominant qualities of a healthy and welcoming community. They speak directly to a more inclusive and progressive society and to an equality for all marginalized peoples. Working for much of my artistic career within the Deaf and disabled arts communities, my particular interest in this artist call draws from that experience and reinforces my ambitions to celebrate and showcase difference and diversity while also connecting with the general population.

About the Artist

David Bobier is a hard of hearing and disabled identified media artist whose creative practice is researching and developing multi-sensory and vibrotactile technology as a creative medium. This work led to his establishment of VibraFusionLab, a creative multi-media, multi-sensory centre that has gained a reputation as a leader in accessibility for the Deaf and Disability Arts movement in Canada and internationally.

Rendering of a black metal outline of a hand sculpture
David Bobier

Simon Frank

Proposed Sculpture: Entrance

I am proposing a new bronze sculpture entitled Entrance, for Woodstock’s Bruce Flowers Sculpture Garden. Taking its inspiration from the site and drawing from both its natural and built environments — the trees in the park and the adjacent houses — Entrance will be a sculpture depicting two trees that have been shaped and trained to grow together into the form of an oversized doorway. Bronze-cast directly from two real trees, the sculpture will have a very realistic appearance and authentic texture, much like the many other trees in the park.

About the Artist

Simon Frank grew up in Dundas, ON.  Since completing his Honours BA in English at the University of Guelph in 1991, he has lived and worked in Hamilton. Over the past 26 years, Frank has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, as well as exhibiting in special projects in Italy and South Korea.  Frank has received numerous grants from both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

Rendering of a bronze sculpture of two tree branches that form a door
Simon Frank

Patrick Thibert

Proposed Sculpture: Through the Eye of the Viewer

This sculpture is about memories. Everyone has memories associated with each of the three images that form the sculpture. The installation makes use of symbols and metaphors for the viewer to ponder. The tree as an image is being used by me as a symbol for nature. At different moments of the day the sun will shine on the vertical facing of the tall rectangular panel and illuminate the tree as the sunlight passes through the drill holes that define the stylized tree. Everyone has their own memories associated with a house. The house is being used by me in this sculpture as a metaphor for the mind. The profile is general enough as to allow the viewers’ memories to define their own associations with such an image.

About the Artist

Patrick Thibert was born in Windsor, ON. He studied fine art towards a BFA at the University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, 1968–1972. He continued his studies towards an MFA at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA, 1972 – 1974. From 1975 – 2003 he taught sculpture at Fanshawe College of Applied Art and Technology in London, ON. His work has moved from being abstract through the 1970s and late-1980s, to working with image based narrative work from late 1987 – 2010.

Rendering of a yellow sculpture that is a house with a tree and a silhouette of a face
Patrick Thibert

Contact Us

© 2017 City of Woodstock P.O. Box 1539, 500 Dundas Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 0A7


Phone: 519-539-1291
Email: General Information

Back to top

I'd Like To...