631 Main Street(1)
Mural in a Day, July 21, 2007
Summertime in Winnipeg
The Mural was rendered under the leadership of Tim and Connie Friesen, with sponsorship by MuralFest 2k7 and Bob & Louise Buchanan. The Mural was removed in July of 2010 for wall renovations and is currently in storage at the Graffiti Gallery.
Original notes follow:
Tim and Connie's terrific video of our Mural In A Day may be viewed
Complete list of painters: Véronique Gibson, Nicolas, Richard Smith, Della
Lane, Samantha Coss, Lyndie Bright, Michelle Amaya-Torres, Felix Amaya-Spornitz,
Ken Gabel, Shane, Lisa Gabel, Nicole, Sarah, Katrine Vandermeulen, Adele Kavanagh,
Christine Peters, Natasha & Gwendolyn Penner, Trevor Mueller, Xu Liang Li, Nancy
Mak, Louisa Ryz, Sheryl Shatkosky, Kayla Slater, Eugenia & Montana Lehmann, Dr MJ
Willard, Yosef Goba, Bert Monterona, Danielle, Trevor & Amber Clement, Melissa
Therrien, Betel, Jo Jensen, Kaleigh & Yaryn, Steve & Heather, Karen Schulz, Julia,
Michelle, Casey, Terryn, Rikkhita, Rebecca, Divon, Joanne Epp, Alan, Gabrielle,
Kaitlyn, Adele & Maya, Taylor, Dallas, Desiree, Precious, Natasha, Linda & James, Dan
Fehr, Megan Turner, Nobel, Presley, Summer, Jean Sinclair, Paul, Anna Marie, Jeff
Houde, La Donna Ogungbemi-Jackson, Rosalind, Dorothy Kopp, Jason Lond, Snan-
Lynne, Tom, Joe, Amethyst, Randy Shingoose, Bob & Louise Buchanan, Erin Nuttall,
Nelson Catcheway, Patrick Ross.
Signature Boards: Véronique Gibson, Patrick Ross, Nelson
Connie Friesen: "We heard about Mural Fest 2006 in Winnipeg and were here in the city
just after it had ended- we have family here. We were very interested because all of the
Murals here are phenomenally beautiful. We know that what we do, a lot of people don't
do. We found The Murals of Winnipeg website on the web and we emailed Bob first.
He wrote us back and then we sent a packet of what we do. And what we do fit perfectly
with his vision of having Winnipeg Public paint a Mural in a Day as one of the Mural
Fest 2007 events."
Tim Friesen: "Bob gave us the theme of 'Summertime in Winnipeg' and we did a lot of
preplanning of potential imagery for the Mural in advance of the planning session, so we
could be ready, and to trigger thoughts from other people."
Connie: "We were very interested in what the people were going to say. At the
brainstorming, the people had lots of ideas. This is a true community Mural that was
mined from the hearts, minds and souls of Winnipeg's public. They are the ones that
came up with the ideas that went into the Mural. We recorded everything they said and
also to the passion with which they said stuff! And that's part of our job to pay attention
to what's really resonating and what stays with them over time. There must have been 30
people attend the planning session which was more than we were expecting, so there was
lots of input!"
"June 21st is the first day of summer and also Aboriginal Day. Combined with the
location of the Mural we wanted something reflective of aboriginal culture- so we have
the Dreamcatcher. We're using the Dreamcatcher feather to morph into the
water of Winnipeg's Red and Assiniboine Rivers. At one time we were
considering adding a couple of water taxis and riverboats on the water, but that idea
eventually was replaced by something else. Not everything makes it into the Mural."
"The Mash signpost idea worked very well, with Portage and Main at
the top, and telling people about all these things that are going on, summertime things
right here in Winnipeg. The soccer ball with all the flags on it- as I
look at it I like the way it looks more and more, and that it doesn't necessarily look that
much perfectly like a soccer ball. I like those other components- it makes it more
interesting. It's suggesting all of the different ethnicities and diversity here, but
yet, in one ball. A surprising number of people suggested that soccer was the hottest up-
and-coming thing with the younger kids these days. They almost look like they could be
stones or pebbles, and then they have these flag things on them. To me this is much more
Tim: "We've included some landmark likes Fort Garry. And we have BDI,
Bridge Drive In!! So many people knew it was BDI just from the distinctive red and
white awning. And what's more summertime in Winnipeg than getting an ice cream at
BDI? We didn't put any of the throngs of people there into the mural because we
literally wanted to draw the persons themselves into the Mural."
"The Esplanade Riel is there, and that was done totally from memory- it's so
distinctive. The Legislature with the Golden Boy is next to it. These
things anchored everything else that there's no doubt that this is Winnipeg. There's a lot
of green space and flowers there because Winnipeg has so much of it."
Connie: "There's a recognizable Winnipeg skyline, and a scaffolding
on which a Muralist is painting the fireworks- he's painting the town! Another
summertime thing about Winnipeg is the new Murals painted each year. The
ballerina , emblematic of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, is one of the focal points of the
Mural. But I thing you'll be drawn to what you want to see in this Mural." (Ed note-
Tim and Connie were very pleased to have visual artist Yosef Goba as a walkup
participant who spent special attention to the ballerina's detail).
Tim: "It can't be summertime in Winnipeg without construction (!), so we put an
orange road construction sign in there. The group wanted everyone to know that we have
a sense of humour about how we portray the city. We had fun with that! There were
mixed feelings about having a giant mosquito as well, and we ended up doing a
dragonfly instead. The fiddle is suggestive of Folklorama and of Folk
Fest; music buskers, and of Winnipeg's music scene. The masks and ticket are
suggestive of the Theatre District, Fringe Festival, Shakespeare in the Ruins, Rainbow
Stage, and all of the theatrical events that occur in the summer here. The Ferris
Wheel is suggestive of Red River Exhibition."
Connie: "Winnipeggers drink more Slurpees per capita year round than
anywhere else in North America, and has been the Slurpee Capital of North America for
11 straight years. No one understands why, but that HAD to go into the Mural!"
Tim: "The people were great. We had a really good response. Not only the hundred or
so that actually painted but the others that came and wanted to and hung around and
watched. People who were in the mall just came and watched forever! Art as a spectator
sport! They could see we were having fun and expressing ourselves creatively. One of
the store owners would come out every hour or two to see how it was coming along and
to see it pulled together from blank panels to full rendering. One thing that blew me
away was the real diversity of people who participated. I don't think we've ever had that
many different nationalities as today. It was a broad swath of Winnipeg."
Connie: "The whole thing is experiential. Not just viewed later but experienced. The
whole process is where the magic is. It's like a wonderful thing, and at the end you
actually have something. If we had done this in sand and at the end of the day the wind
came, everyone would still have had a fulfilling day. But this is a bonus because there's
something lasting on the wall at the end of it. People came here and don't want to leave
the experience behind- they keep coming back to look at it. There's certainly an element
of pride involved too. And I think this Mural will have an impact far beyond just those
who painted it. Everyone who painted here today will tell their family and friends, and so
on, and so on., so it will echo and reverberate in the larger community. It's a great Mural
for where it's installed."
"This was art for the people and by the people. I don't know what happens in this
magical process or how to parse it out. We walk away and say "it just happened again.
We don't know why; but that's why we do this, because it happens. And we say 'maybe
we'll stop one day when it doesn't happen'. But it has never happened!"
For more information on Tim & Connie Friesen (AVEC Art) visit their website
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