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Collaborative mural at the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival

by Jaclyn Witherly

The Buckhorn Fine Art festival will run for its 36th year from August 16 to 18, and this year a unique mural project will be included in the weekend events.

An eight by 10 foot collaborative mural is being created behind the Buckhorn Community Centre, by any willing members of the local community.

Anyone of any age can add their own brushstroke to the mural, guided by artist Michele Van Maurik.

People wishing to add their touch to the painting don’t necessarily need to be talented; Van Maurik will blend the colours together and direct the process.

David Robitaille, who is the Mural Project Consultant, says this is a great addition to the festival.

“The Buckhorn Festival doesn’t need any help, this will be a nice enhancement, a way to take advantage of the creative output of the event and bring it to the greater community.”

An old friend of Robitaille’s started the Group of Seven Mural project, which consists of about 100 murals, some painted with community involvement and some by mural artists. The event was a great success, so he decided to bring the idea to the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival.

The fact that anyone can join in brings the community together. “It’s about participation of the community, the artists assist in the painting and allow everyone who wants to, to put a brush stroke and become a part of it,” Robitaille explains. “What’s great about that is they take ownership of the work, literally people for decades can drive by and say, ‘I painted that’.”

John Lennard is the artist who painted the original piece which is being reproduced on a much larger scale.

“I was fairly pleased and proud when they asked me if they could reproduce it,” Lennard expresses. “I think it’s a great idea having the community involvement.” Lennard made sure he also added his own brushstroke to the mural.

The mural will be an ongoing project over the weekend of the Fine Art Festival. Once completed, the mural is to be mounted behind the Buckhorn Community Centre within the gardens; it will remain available for purchase or sponsorship from local businesses.

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