Each year, we lose some good outdoor art in Winnipeg. For the year indicated, here's a last look at, a last goodbye to some of the artwork that has disappeared that year.


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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 here.

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 Catcheway.

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 interesting. "

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 here.

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