The Chemainus Outdoor Art Gallery grew by three murals this summer, as the town’s new Emily Carr-inspired murals were unveiled Saturday to cheers from a small but enthusiastic crowd.
The new murals are inspired by Emily Carr paintings and were commissioned by the Chemainus Festival of Murals Society as a continuation of the society’s Emily Carr mural series, now 10 paintings on five murals downtown. It has been seven years since the last Carr-inspired mural was unveiled.
The mural society chose the theme to honour the beloved Victoria artist, whose work brought the beauty of the BC Pacific coast and its people to the world stage.
Carr is best known for her paintings of First Nations villages and the forest and seashores of the BC coast.
Two artists, Cim MacDonald of Chemainus and Mario Labonte of Victoria, were chosen by the society to take Emily Carr originals and add their interpretation to the original artwork.
The paintings were selected by the society in consultation with Anthem Properties.
MacDonald painted two of the new murals. The first features Carr’s Big Raven, painted in 1931, and the second, features Carr’s Blunden Harbour from 1930. Blunden Harbour is on BC’s mainland, at the mouth of the Queen Charlotte Strait. At one time, it was also home to a First Nation village.
Labonte’s artwork was inspired by Carr’s original Chemainus Bay, painted in 1924-25.
Three area youngsters, Nora Brackett, Doug Wahlman and Ruby DuMez, helped society board members, Doreen Zielke, Shannon Bellamy and Ellen Lavender pull the shrouds from the murals to make the unveiling official.
The festivities included a puppet show for children and adults, as well as jazz piano recitals, and Carr-inspired photo sessions.
The event took place on Saturday, August 20, in the lane between Utopia Bakery and Bonnie Martin Restaurant and was made possible by financial assistance from Anthem Properties and funds raised from the sale of mural books, maps and prints.
Chemainus is known as Canada’s Mural Capital™.
Click on https://muraltown.com/shop to purchase Emily Carr-related artwork.