"This isn't a watercolor, it's a mural." - Erich Segal

The banner mural of ships and fishing supplies decorates the fence of a parking lot just off Marine Drive in White Rock B.C.
(Artist unknown)

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Chemainus, B.C. - 2

Downtown Chemainus had been rejuvenated in 1982 with five beautiful historic murals. Then in 1983, the town’s biggest employer, the lumber mill, closed after 120 years. Almost 700 people became unemployed in a community of just under 4,000.

But instead of giving up, this Cowichan Valley town surged ahead with a new dream of attracting tourists with murals. The Festival of Murals Society was established that year. That year Chemainus also won the New York Downtown Revitalization Award for redevelopment of the downtown core. Seven more historic-themed murals were added to the town’s collection in 1983:

“Logging With Oxen”
Around 1898 oxen were the main form of power in logging.
(painted by Harold Lyon, Fountain Hills, Arizona)

“Camp 2 On A Sunday”
Loggers spending their Sunday on personal chores at Camp 2, 1902.
(painted by David J. More, Red Deer Alberta)

“Company Store”
An interior rendering of the Victoria Lumber and Manufacturing Company Store, 1917
(painted by Dan Sawatzky, Cultus Lake, B.C.)

“Temporary Homes”
Accomodation for a construction crew in 1912 during road building north of Chemainus.
(painted by David White, Nassau, Bahamas)

"Native Heritage"
Based on the figures from the Native past and present in this area, three tribes are shown.
(painted by Paul Ygartua, Vancouver, B.C.)

Also painted that year were "The Arrival of the 'Reindeer'" and "Chemainus 1891"

Of all these, my favorites are the oxen and the temporary homes. Clicking on the "Logging with Oxen" link takes you to the mural tour page with some fascinating information about how one logged with these beasts.

The temporary homes mural looks a lot like a watercolor to me - beautifully done!



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by Violet Nesdoly

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