Although spring is my favourite time of year, I do admit to feeling glum when the snow is gone and gray skies linger far longer than they should. This year, when the gray skies and cold winds were blustering and chilling me to the bone, I decided to look for things around the city that make me feel cheerful and look forward to the warmth soon to come. For me, I noticed the murals around the city, and although there are murals on display inside public buildings, it turns out Prince Albert has its fair share of art painted outside on buildings as well.
One of the first that come to mind are those found on the side and back of Fresh Air Experience on Central Avenue. Grey Owl and Louis Riel are both featured on the building and inspire people to learn more about both men. Each of them has contributed to the rich history of this area and continues to intrigue visitors with stories of how both these men took the lead in pursuing their passions while trying to ensure they left the smallest footprint on their environment as possible.
When passing by city hall, it is impossible not to notice the beautiful mural depicting the forest and water scene. It’s as beautiful to see as other hidden gems I found while wandering around the city. The day I “discovered” the Duffy and Tobe’s mural, I parked in the back alley and stared at it for the longest time. I tried to memorize every detail. If I am quiet and still for long enough, I can almost hear the notes of the guitar carry on the wind to where I am sitting. Sometimes I even take a mug of Timmie’s tea with me to enjoy along with the elegant lady who is sipping from her own tea cup. I really enjoy the atmosphere and feel of this mural very much.
Speaking of images that inspire feelings of joy and happiness, I would be very remiss if I didn’t mention the beautiful garage and fence painted in hues of yellow and blue along with the gorgeous poppy on the white fence. This is the time of year when the poppy is truly visible yet it’s fitting, in my own mind, that it is only hidden from view when the vines growing up along the fence truly come to life.
The mural featured on the side of PACI’s north wall is pretty spectacular, due in part to the architecture of the building. I am already so impressed with the architecture preserved with many of the buildings in Prince Albert, and perhaps I’ll show you some of the buildings that strike a chord with me the most someday soon but for now, the PACI mural is both beautiful and inspires my imagination to dream about possibilities.
A few years ago, I drove past a home near Kinsmen Park and was astounded to see what appeared to be someone painting the cement steps leading up to their home. Basic upkeep of one’s home isn’t particularly noteworthy, except it appears the home owner was painting the most extraordinarily beautiful rug. One I wouldn’t mind owning and showcasing in my home, if only that were possible. Even when I drove by to take the photo the other day, I argued with myself, “Is it a real rug, or is it painted?” I’ll let you decide.
A replica of a famous painting is displayed outside an art studio on Branion Drive. For some of us, this could be the closest we ever come to seeing a world famous painting. And for others, it’s the backdrop we choose when taking a family portrait or a selfie to post on social media. Christine Thoen’s depiction of Van Gogh’s “Café Terrace At Night” is a lovely scene to enjoy while sipping on a Slurpee from 7-11 and eating a slice of pizza from the pizzeria next door to Christine’s studio.
The last mural I’d like to introduce you to is featured on the side of the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre. The details depicted on this mural ‘speak’ to me on so many levels and, no matter what ones ancestry might be there is something for all of us to find in common with the scene. From gathering around the fire to fishing from the shore as an eagle, or gulls, fly overhead, each of us has a story to tell about a scene such as this.
Prince Albert has plenty of murals throughout our beautiful city. Each of them has a wonderful story and I’m sure I haven’t even shown you all of the outdoor murals that exist in the city. I hope the tradition of creating and displaying murals continue. It is a fantastic legacy to leave for those of us who appreciate art and love to see the way the residents of our city show their love through such fascinating works of art. Thank you for including us, the public, in your incredible exhibit of unique and awesome murals… you’ve turned our beautiful city into a one-of-a-kind gallery other cities can only covet and wish their citizens were as visually aware. And for me, it truly brightens up my day to view them when the skies are full of gray clouds and we battle chilly temperatures.