Downtown Castlegar is getting a splash of colour thanks to a citizen-led initiative.
It is hard to miss the beginnings of the brightly coloured mural being painted on the south side of the building that houses Recharge Fuel and Fitness along the 400 block of Columbia Avenue.
Vancouver-based Métis artist Jean Paul Langlois will be working on the mural for the next few weeks.
He describes the mural as a hunting scene, but has not settled on a title for the work of art.
“It will come,” he says.
He describes his mural technique as a bit of “paint by numbers.” After drawing out his conception on an iPad, he projects it onto a building’s exterior and traces the outlines with spray paint. After that, he just starts filling in the colours.
“Colour relationships are kind of my main thing,” said Langlois. “It’s what I am best at. It’s sort of complicated — the making sure the colours pop out together nicely.”
Langlois’s works of art can be seen all across Canada on buildings and in galleries. He is responsible for the mural Dispossessed, Unvanquished behind Cowan’s Office Supplies in Nelson.
The project was spearheaded by local business owner Willow Enewold.
Enewold and a group of supporters decided that Castlegar could use some more street art.
“We’ve been working on it for a couple of years, and it has finally come to fruition,” said Enewold.
The $10,000 project is completely funded by individuals and local businesses.
Enewold hopes this is just the first of many more public art installations to come.
“My hope is that in future years, we can look for some other sources of funding and get some more public art downtown,” said Enewold.
Enewold thinks the timing for this project is perfect.
“The world is a little crazy now and we all need a little colourful boost in our lives.”
After all — it’s not everyday you get to see a polka-dot elk.