Island Lake with blades of green grass in the front on a nice sunny day

Mantis Queen lands at Visitor Information Centre

Orangeville’s Visitor Information Centre, near Highway 10 and Buena Vista Drive, is the new focus of Orangeville’s public art scene. A large-scale sculpture arrived on the site this weekend, following the generous donation of the impressive metal sculpture by a local resident.

The anonymous donation, including installation costs, was accepted by Orangeville Council last summer and plans got under way to host the prominent sculpture at the municipally-owned 200 Lakeview Court site.

The Mantis Queen is seven metres high, weighs one ton, and is made of stainless steel. The interactive sculpture has a commanding presence with arms that spin and rotate in the breeze.

The Mantis Queen was designed and created by award-winning artist Ron Baird and was originally commissioned for location at a private residence in Dufferin County. Mr. Baird has received numerous awards and medals for his work, including Allied Arts Awards from both the Royal Architectural Society of Canada and the Ontario Society of Architects. He has been regularly commissioned to create large-scale, site-specific sculpture installations across North America. Mr. Baird is well known for the “Spirit Catcher” sculpture that is featured prominently in the City of Barrie.

The Orangeville location abuts Credit Valley Conservation Area property, and the location’s proximity to Island Lake ensures that even more visitors are able to enjoy the sculpture within a complementary natural environment.

“I'm very excited about seeing the Mantis Queen in Orangeville,” said artist Ron Baird. “When I was commissioned to create a landmark sculpture there were no restrictions on the project. This was a rare and wonderful gift from a patron to an artist. And I think the resulting Mantis Queen sculpture rewarded the confidence in me; this powerful piece is among my most favourite works.”

“The Mantis Queen sculpture is well suited to the Visitor Information Centre,” said Councillor Sylva Bradley, Chair of the Town’s Arts and Culture Committee. “In addition to the environmental aspect, the location allows residents and visitors to stop and admire the artwork. And it’s an incredible and memorable landmark for the community. This is a significant donation of art to the Town of Orangeville, thanks to a very generous individual.”