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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99 Euclid Avenue   

This Mural was rendered by GAP artists in 2010 as a temporary measure after a fire ravaged Barber House, the oldest known residential home in the area.
Concept: Danielle Winfield & Jillian Ramsay; Design: Erika Romualdo (with assistance of Danielle Winfield & Jillian Ramsay); Rendering Artists: Jessica Canard, Matthew Svienson, Raven Peters, Danielle Winfield, Jillian Ramsay, Erika Romualdo, Patrick Ross, Joe Mennell.
The Mural was lost in early 2011 as repairs and renovation got underway.

Original notes Follow:

In 2010, Graffiti Arts Programming was contacted with painting a Mural to cover the destruction from the recent fire at Barber House, Winnipeg's oldest house.

Jillian Ramsay, Erika Romualdo and Danielle Winfield utilized a concept using the past, present and future as a context for the design. They worked together placing images to create a picture that incorporated these ideas. Eventually the designers settled on the cottonwood tree, a Point Douglas Landmark, an image of Barber himself whom inhabited the home and images of the blueprint Sistar had designed to re-purpose the building and surrounding property. These plans include a seniors' residence attached to a daycare facility. Jessica Canard, Matthew Svienson, Raven Peters, Jill Ramsay, Erika Romualdo, Patrick Ross, Joe Mennell and Danielle Winfield painted the Mural. The completed Mural installation was on June 21, 2010.

On August 17, 2010, I sat down with artists Jill Ramsay, Erika Romualdo and Danielle Winfield, who collaborated on the following commentary:

Jill Ramsay: “Barber House was vandalized by fire. Our director, Steve Wilson met with the North Point Douglas Residents' Association. Our goal was to do something quickly and simply that could be installed onto Barber House without affecting the historical integrity of the building. There were already panels on the windows. Our biggest problems were money and time. We wanted to get something up in response to the arson quickly so that it would reflect positively on the house as a landmark and a historical home in the community. Our whole approach was an anti-vandalism strategy. It was requested by the community, and it was our response to a community that's really important to us.”

Danielle Winfield: “ I think that going to the site, seeing the damage, and then installing our work- perhaps not healing the wound to the community, but covered it in a positive way.”

Jill: “The impact of the fire was covered by the Globe and Mail material- it got national coverage.”

Danielle: “My main task was to coordinate the youth painters from the past year of our Urban Canvas Program, gathering them quickly to get to the site here at the Gallery, and create the work and get it done. The work was done here at the Gallery, with recycled materials, including the boards.”

Jill: “We wanted to use historical images and current images. Danielle and I considered themes keeping in mind our goals of being uplifting and a positive reminder of the building. We considered the theme of Past Present and Future right away. We knew there were going to be 3 panels.”

Erika Romualdo: “Jill and Danielle gave me some ideas and pictures and suggestions for the Mural. At first I was a bit confused about what to use. I knew a little bit about the house but not a lot. So I did a good deal of research. I agreed with Jill that the cottonwood tree needed to be in there, and that we had two different images of Barber House (see bottom section of photo 2)- one depicting the house when it was first built; and one more recent, perhaps in the mid 1970’s. In the right panel (photo 6, at the bottom of the panel) this is our interpretation of a blueprint that I found online of what they’re planning to do with building a senior’s centre and daycare here.”

Jill: “The senior's coalition is hoping to use the footprints, as much of the original timber as possible to turn it into a senior's gathering and meeting place.. That goal is depicted in the 'Future' panel. There were other elements too. I wanted the cottonwood tree in there- the huge cottonwood trees and its leaves are a staple in North Point Douglas. All of the images in there, Erika compiled and coordinated them with each other to make them reflect the story that`s going on.”

“This was more of a commercial style than we normally do at the Graffiti Gallery- with silhouettes and simplified graphics. We chose mellow colours that were peaceful and would complement and blend with the house. We used all recycled paints.“

Erika: “In the left panel, the man, of course, is Edmund Lorenzo Barber (photo 4), the original owner of the house and who the street is named after. He is in the Past, whereas the cottonwood tree is also in the past but continues on into the Present. and it carries on into the future (photos 2 & 3). The leaves of the cottonwood tree are there as well.”

“Steve (Wilson) took the photo of the street signs (centre panel. Photo 5). In the Future panel (Photo 6), we have some seniors and a child on a swing, to represent a happy time in what is yet to come. We edited a bit as we painted too. We had originally had the word ‘present’ in the centre panel added to the street sign but we decided it was too ‘busy’ and cluttered. The telephone wires were in the image of the street sign, and we decided to continue them in the other two panels. We had a lot of fun doing it.”

“It was a real rush project for the reasons we’ve talked about. They called me Tuesday and wanted to have the images for the design done by Thursday. I tend to over-think things and didn’t get much sleep for those 2 days. I sent it to them and they had problems opening it up; so I had an extra day in which I changed some more things! That’s what happens when you leave things with me too long! But I was definitely happy with the design after that! “

Danielle: “We came in on Saturday and mixed the colours because Erika was at work.”

Erika: “Our group started painting on Sunday around noon. We used projection the whole time. We got most of it painted that day, so on Monday there was only about an hour and a half left to do.. It went up on June 21.”

Notes: GAP newsletter, July 2010

For more information about Barber House, see http://winnipeg.ca/ppd/historic/pdf-consv/Euclid%2099-short.pdf

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