Three historic logging murals painted by generations of local residents – with many stories shared along the way – are now on display at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Main Street in McBride (Vincent de Niet’s building). Local artist Sheilagh Foster donated time and talent to design the art pieces inspired by memorable historical photos, and to coordinate the program.
While helping to paint the murals with outdoor acrylic paint, essentially in a paint-by-number style, residents shared memories and stories of early logging in the Robson Valley, and were interviewed on video by members of the library and museum in a related project.
The murals were a Heritage Canada centennial project of the Robson Valley Arts and Culture Council, in partnership with the Whistle Stop Gallery Society, the McBride and District Public Library, the Valley Museum and Archives and the McBride Centennial School. With funding from the McBride Community Foundation through the Whistle Stop Gallery, Matthew Wheeler coordinated covering the paintings in a thick coating of anti-graffiti acrylic and mounting the murals.
Foster says the murals will stay on the building unless the owner needs them moved. “We’ll find another space for them if that happens,” she says, but hopes they may already be in their permanent home. “We hope to add the write-up about the murals and photos of the painters below each mural on the building,” says Foster, though that may take some time.