The long concrete wall at the Four Mile hill in View Royal captured my imagination right from the beginning, vertical columns of stone secured by chains with empty spaces in between, was that it, was that the “art” wall I had read about? Every time I drove by it hadn’t changed for what seemed the longest time, until one day a fellow appeared, placing stones to fill the empty spaces, he was nattily attired, wearing a tie with his shirt, accompanied with a vest, the leather apron he wore gave him the look of an artisan from another era. Every day the same classic outfit, this man was different, I had to meet him, so many questions to ask. I approached him one day and was greeted with a great wonderful smile, a firm grip as we shook hands and introduced ourselves, the questions flowed the answers followed. I commented on his neat working clothes, “Raising the bar” he replied, “That’s cool”, I thought. Friendly as he is, I didn’t want to interrupt this gentleman’s work flow but he made time for me and I instantly recognized he was indeed a true gentleman but one with a difference, for here was this incredible artist creating a work of art in stone, like nothing I had ever seen before and such a massive undertaking, how would he ever do it? Well, besides a great work ethic, it’s simple, one stone at a time, day in day out, patience, each stone placed with meaning, each stone has to sit just right, nothing random about the way this amazing piece of art has come together. The gentleman is Andreas Kunert and it is an honour to know him, a pleasure to talk with him, share laughs and stories with him, such an easy going individual with a vision that people are intrigued with, a vision that is entertaining as the progress slowly moves forward, people waiting to see what is next. It is nearing the end of August and Andreas’ stunning work of art is a few stones from being finished. I have had the pleasure of documenting the progress with my camera and every visit with Andreas is just as much fun as the previous one. I am fascinated watching Andreas create this masterpiece and will always have the pleasure of knowing the genius behind it, a legacy few can leave that will last so long. Congratulations Andreas, my friend.
View Royal, BC
I want to express my complete and utter appreciation for the stone wall that you created and placed on the Old Island Highway across from the Four Mile Pub. While the construction process seemed long and arduous for the commuter traffic, the end result really makes the drive more enjoyable. In fact it makes me want to stop and get out of my car and stand and appreciate the workmanship.
To me your wall is a symbol of our time. We have been moving forward so quickly and, at times, thoughtlessly in chase of the newest, fastest and best that we have forgotten or overlooked the value of the historical and the natural. We are at a time where we are beginning to understand the value of nature and the value doing things more consciously. We are going back to the earth with the development of organics. Your wall is a symbol of our recognition that we need to move back in time and regain a more sustainable and organic lifestyle. Thanks for the constant reminder. It is truly appreciated.
View Royal, BC
I have met, watched, photographed and bugged Andreas for a whole bunch of days through the building of this flowing wall. There has been this amazing connection with him and the form as it takes shape since I am in a place of God putting some foundational stones back in place in my own life, of circles being completed; all in vivid colours, beautiful shades, varied hues, serendipitous shapes and joyful designs. I told Andreas that this is the only performance art that takes place with one’s back to the audience… as vehicles whiz by feet from where he acts each day. Most public art is done away from the public’s eye and is brought to the site to be unveiled. To be witness to the entire process through the measured pace of THIS reveal has been a catharsis for me. Public art that is appreciated is great. Public art that inspires is a whole different story. This public art goes even further. With the countless photographs that have been taken, Andreas has elevated us, has spurred us to produce art from his art. A massive achievement and monumental success. Thank you, Andreas. Blessings on you and your household for revealing your art. Some will notice the work and say, “He put his heart into his art”; I thank you for giving us the “art” FROM your “heart”.
View Royal, BC
This piece of art is exquisite; it resonates with beauty and speaks to the limitless possibilities of humans and nature as partners.
I have watched this piece grow and have marveled and delighted in each unveiling of the newest part of this wonderful piece of art. Thank you for sharing your gift and for allowing us to see the beauty of nature through your eyes.
View Royal, BC
After regularly driving by your mural in View Royal I felt that I needed to communicate to you how my family and I feel about your art. We all are in total agreement that it is one of the most beautiful, outstanding pieces of public art that we have ever had the pleasure to see. It has turned this roadway into a masterpiece and we look forward to seeing it each time we pass by. Thank you for this amazing, uplifting project and we hope to see more of your work adoring public spaces on the island and beyond.
Mary Durham and family
I have designed and built a beautiful vacation home on top of a mountain on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, as a retreat from my home in Southern California. As part of my design process, I made clear the importance of the use of natural stone with the wood structure and the importance of creating two “jaw-dropping” fireplace features in the home. The solution to this challenge was the extraordinary work of Andreas Kunert, who created the perfect complement to this home and its spectacular environment. Andreas took time to understand my design priorities and passion for these two major pieces, and blended my ideas with his own amazing creativity. The result is two design elements which are clearly the features of the home without competing with its simple beauty. They also tell stories which add tremendously to the richness of the experience of being in this home.
As a leader of Disney’s Imagineering division, I work on some of the richest projects and with some of the most amazing artists in the world. As such, my expectations for this home and its creators was very high. In the case of Andreas, those artistic expectations were definitely exceeded. I will enjoy his extraordinary work and the story it tells for many years to come.
WALT DISNEY IMAGINEERING
Having practiced landscape architecture for the past twenty years, and as a principal of a firm of 45 professionals, I can say with certainty that Andreas has a unique and impressive gift – one he shares freely and joyfully – and one that will leave a lasting impression both on the landscape and the minds of those who come into contact with is work.
His involvement in public commissions within the City of Nanaimo and throughout the lower mainland and Sunshine Coast of BC have provided a legacy of built work that is consistent, recognizable and durable. Among these is a recent completed commission for a commemorative wall located within the Nanaimo Museum. This substantial work of art 32‘ wide and 8‘ high is a cornerstone of the $110 million conference center and museum. In this context, Andreas art speaks for a whole community.
Working with design professionals such as landscape architects and structural engineers Andreas is careful to incorporate professional direction so that the art is safe, beautiful and responsible.
I have no hesitation in providing this reference for Andreas Kunert knowing that whomever comes in contact with the man, and the art, will leave richer for the experience.
Landscape Architect, Principal
HB LANARC CONSULTANTS LTD
Thank you so much. Your vision of beauty is unexplainable. Your exhibit is one of those moments where life is so beautiful. I think that your “Solace” is providing solace for the many as well as myself. You have definitely given me a peace of mind in this hectic part of the year. Thank you for sharing your talent and gift with us. I wish you much luck in your many beautiful works of art to come.
Crystal Richlet, Alberta
The City of Nanaimo is very fortunate to be home to several unique, monumental stone structures that have been created by this most visionary artist and master craftsman. We are home to “Ravyn’s Song” in the lobby of our new Nanaimo Ice Center and a prominent display of his creative and distinctive designs.
The inspirational work of this most unique stone artist can also be found at businesses and private residences throughout our community and his unique artistry is now finding him involved in various projects around the world.
I would not hesitate to encourage any individual or business to involve Mr. Kunert on any specific project that would seek creative and inspirational stone work.
John Ruttan, Mayor
Office of The Mayor
City of Nanaimo, British Columbia
I do not know you, but I stumbled into the gallery today only to find this impressive display before my eyes! I am amazed. Your creations are beautiful, peaceful and pulls your soul in a way that is both unbelievable and comforting.
It is my pleasure to write a letter that speaks volumes of appreciation for the achievement and quality in Andreas Kunert work as a stone muralist.
This amazing installation is called “Ravyn’s Song” and was designed and created on location for the Vancouver Island Conference Center in nanaimo, BC. It is a spectacular example of this artists extraordinary talent. Several of my associates continue to make reference to accolades they receive daily from delegate attendees to the public traveling to visit our beautiful city.
Denise Tacon, General Manager
Vancouver Island Conference Center
Thank you for sharing the most precious part of yourself so freely and openly with all of us. Your ability of vision and presentation along with capturing emotions suspend time. Once the door to the gallery closes behind you, and awe of quiet encircles you and everything stands still as all senses, absorb the sounds, sights, feel and smell. Congratulations! The beginning of an end and the end of the beginning of a life long journey.
Karen Barrett, International Admissions Director
University of Saskatchewan
A. D. Berry
Mr. Kunert is well known to the City of Nanaimo and has conceived and completed various works of public art for us which are prominently featured in the community. Some are functional items in local recreation and cultural facilities and others are pure works of art.
We have been extremely well pleased with Mr. Kunert’s work and I am most happy to say that his offerings are very widely appreciated and set an appropriate tone for us.
We do consider Mr. Kunert to be an artist of extraordinary ability, and it is my distinct pleasure to provide a letter of support for him.
A. D. Berry, City Manager
City of Nanaimo, British Columbia
I’m in love with your amazing creative works – your exhibit is magical, mesmerizing and mystical – I feel a sense of depth, colour and mystery just being in this room – superb job.
Richard A. Conroy
I have watched Andreas over the past decade as he has continued to develop and refine his craft towards the making of remarkable art. The commemorative wall located within the Nanaimo Museum is literally the cornerstone of the $110 million conference center and museum. In this context, Andreas art speaks for and too a whole community and will by default be always considered as a legacy for the future citizens of our island paradise.
Andreas is both patient and persistent — he is also a meticulous craftsman. The demands of such a large sculptural format might allow for one to overlook some of the technical detail inherent in these projects. But by choosing and working with 50 ton pieces of stone, the artist must also accept responsibility of care and due diligence. Andreas does so with utmost professionalism.
Professor Richard A. Conroy MFA
Visual Art and Design Department
Naomi – walking through your exhibit of work gave me shivers from head to toe. What a beautiful, ephemeral and unique expression of life! A breath taking reflection of the human soul… Congratulations!
Kelly McInnes, Registrar
University of Saskatchewan
Gregory & Joan Patton
When we first met with Andreas in regards to what could and could not be done for our fireplace we were a bit apprehensive. Something so unique could not actually be done, or could it?
Well it not only met our expectations but far exceeded them and actually went farther than that. It was not only a beautiful fireplace but an unbelievable sculpture that fit so perfectly into our bedroom and our cabin setting that it was as if the cabin had been designed around this great piece of nature.
Andreas is a gifted Artist and Sculptor. As we watched him work we were amazed at his gift.
We would not only recommend him for any sculpture but can guarantee you that the designs you see in his sketches are all possible.
We used our fireplace all during the summer months that we spent in Canada. That may sound a little odd but the fireplace was so wonderful we could not just let it sit until winter.
We are pleased to be able to recommend Andreas for any sculpture one might want. As well as pleased to have the first fireplace he ever carved from a block of stone. It is truly a beautiful functioning piece of art.
Gregory & Joan Patton
Mesa, Arizona, United States