The Quatrain Murals:  

The Chapleau Community Mural Project

OVERVIEW...


Five Northern Ontario artists will supervise and coordinate the creation of ten (10) murals depicting the history and community life of Chapleau. As well as imparting a unique style to each mural, the Supervising Artists will interact with the public and artists from several communities. Members of the community will be invited to take part in the design and execution of the murals, and workshop sites will be open to visitors. The completed billboard-size murals will be mounted or erected in strategic locations throughout the community of Chapleau. In conjunction with the unveiling of the murals, the Supervising Artists will hold an exhibition of their own works, which is scheduled to tour the region, along with a documentary presentation of the Mural Project. A Web Site will document the project, as well as encourage input and dialogue among the communities.

Top: Bonnie Ivey demonstrates the work area where the creation of the murals will take place. Teams of local artists are ready to begin. In two months time, Chapleau will see the finished works adorn the walls of its downtown core.
... And we're off! The second step in the creation of the murals is the projection. The image is enlarged up to 50 times the size of the original and the contour lines are drawn in order to have a basic representation of the wanted mural. We would like to thank the Chapleau Ministry of Natural Resources for their computer projector - an ideal tool for this crucial step.
Now, the real fun begins. These three artists work on the first layer of paint. In the creation process of the mural, the artists start with a flat image, giving the base colours to the mural.

How to give life to a mural? -Hire a professional artist.

This 10' X 40' mural was the most challenging one. First, the sheer size of it offered many hurdles. Also, it being the first in the series, required more patience. You can do all the necessary research, but unforeseen elements tend to present themselves at the most inopportune moments.

Above, the final touches. Bonnie Ivey works on a few refinements, while the two gentlemen lend a hand cutting the wing-tip that will branch out of the mural. Everything must be planned out. For this small piece, a silicone sealer will be needed along the edges to prevent the water from seeping in. The life-span of a mural can be greatly extended thanks to additional precautions: primer, UV protector, silicone seal...

THE ARTISTS:

The following five (5) Supervising Artists have agreed to participate in the project:

Michael O'Connor (Thunder Bay, ON)    * to view Michael's work in progress

This mural depicts early logging during a time when horses were needed year round for the transportation of lumber to and fro the local mills.
The mural celebrates the 100 year involvement of Canadian Pacific Railway in the creation and growth of our community. It's new equipment represents well the company's commitment to the future of strength and stability of Chapleau.
  • Realist works of Nature and historic subjects;
  • Broad commercial experience creating outdoor murals;
  • Specializes in air brush techniques;
  • As a preliminary to the project, Michael will hold a workshop on the technical aspects of creating outdoor murals.

Betty Albert-Lincez "Wabimeguil" (Fox Lake Reserve, Chapleau, ON)

  • Traditional Native style, depicting lifestyle and spiritual/symbolic subjects;
  • Widely known throughout Northern Ontario, experienced teacher and project facilitator;
  • Specializes in acrylic graphic and painting techniques.

Bonnie Lynne Ivey (Chapleau, ON)

This mural depicts a scene from the general store "Smith and Chappel Limited" of Chapleau, in 1913.
This mural commemorates the contribution of the airlift services to the development of our region. The beaver was and is still the favoured plane for local outfitters.
  • Realist works of Nature, historic and documentary subjects, illustrations;
  • Specializes in watercolour and mixed media;
  • Leader in arts development;
  • Experienced teacher with all age groups.

Normand Fortin (Kapuskasing, ON)

Normand Fortin's mural was sure to present many challenges. The sheer size of the wall, being 20' X 50', required more than just a regular mural. For greater impact, it was necessary to cover a large portion of the wall, using a series of pieces to form the image. The Civic Centre, located next to the river, would be the ideal surface for a nature scene. Normand created a 30 foot high sculptural mural. The artwork, made with a mixture of cement and plastic, is sure to stay for many years. Thanks to the contribution of the Chapleau Hydro Commission, mounting the pieces was done without much difficulty, although the work took well over 12 hours.
  • Abstract Expressionist style;
  • Professional fine artist/sculptor with comprehensive knowledge and experience in installations, both exterior and interior, and teaching;
  • Specializes in acrylics and mixed media, paintings and three-dimensional artistic structures.

Mary Weymark Goss (Moonbeam, ON)    * to view Mary's work in progress

This mural is a tribute to those who, in many instances, put their lives on the line for the well being and safety of the community.
  • Expressionist symbolist style, abstract themes;
  • Professional fine artist with extensive experience in large thematic and narrative works, community and group projects including murals and book-works, publications, group direction and instruction in the arts;
  • Specializes in oils, mixed media, fibre and multi-media (Computer).

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:

Various groups have already asked to take part in this project. All age groups will be encouraged to participate in or visit the projects in progress. Normand Fortin and Michael O'Connor will hold in-residence workshops which will be open to the public. Mary Weymark Goss (Director of the Arts Circle in Kapuskasing, ON) will hold Open Ateliers in the Model City Mall in Kapuskasing, assisted by members of the art group, her student assistant(s), and school and community groups. During the project artists and participants from the various communities will have the opportunity to meet and work with each other, many for the first time.

Behind the obvious work, that of the artists, is the immense task of site preparation. Here Mike Donivan, volunteer technical supervisor, ensures that all the necessary elements are in place before the mounting of the mural panels. Each mural requires approximately 30 hours of preparation, from frame design and fabrication, to wall strapping and bracing. Thank you, Mike!

COMMUNITY SPONSORS:

Corporate sponsorship and other support will help pay for the erection and maintenance of the murals, and related costs.

This murals project brought together many individuals and community groups. Thanks to the support of the corporate, private and public sectors the unique project was ready for its official unveiling, on June 21st, 2000. People from all walks of life, joined with representatives from all three levels of government, were on hand to commemmorate this momentus occasion.
   

ARTS ADVOCACY:

The involvement of the two professional fine artists is seen as an opportunity to present a broader representation of artists and artistic styles than is common in these smaller communities. By working and talking with the artists, members of the communities will develop a better understanding of the arts and arts resources in Northern Ontario. Most of the artists are deeply involved in their communities, some of them being virtually the only link to the arts for their home town.

This project is an opportunity to share artistic resources between remote communities. It will also encourage our artists to work together to forge a stronger artistic presence in the Near North.

The Quatrain Project Steering Committee would like to express its appreciation to Mary Weymark Goss for her support and priceless input in the project planning process. Thank you, Mary!