The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
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164 Stafford Street    Location Map
  

The East Wall.


Location: NE corner Stafford & Grosvenor; East Face

Occupant: The Grove (formerly Tubby's Dining Room)

District: Fort Rouge

Neighbourhood: Crescentwood

Artist(s): Jennifer Johnson (Utopian Art Design), Mandy van Leeuwen

Year: 2002

Sponsors: Take Pride Winnipeg!, Richardson Foundation, Inc., Hertz Equipment Rentals, Grosvenor Square BIZ

 

For several years, Mandy van Leeuwen frequented Tubby's Restaurant with her good friend and fellow artist, Lisa who also enjoyed eating there. During one of these visits one of them made the comment that someday, they should paint a Mural here. They didn't know the owner then, they were just happy patrons. When Mandy actually WAS commissioned to paint a mural here approximately four years later, Lisa had already moved away.

Mandy: "We got along really well with the owner, Charlie. That wall involved a lot of prep work, probably the most prep work of any Mural I've done. We had to hand scrape that whole wall. It was just ridiculous how many layers of paint there were on there before. There were so many nooks and crannies, it was a huge job and it had to be done by hand. We couldn't just blast it off because of where it was close by the fence. It works better to use a hand scraper anyway it's slower but you can do a much better job.

The large building featured in the Mural is the Stafford Building, which stands directly across the street, a building rich in History. Charlie Clements, Tubby's owner knows the building well as He himself has run his own restaurant business directly across the street from it for forty years.

Mandy: "I painted that building with love; every brick, I painted on there and I think it added a lot to it. It used to be an apartment building on the top and stores on the bottom. There were different stores in there at the time that are named in there- Hardy and Buchanan was one of them."

Charlie: Hardy & Buchanan have been there since 1926 so we wanted to put them on there. Baird's Drug Store was next door also in the 1920s. I thought, let's go back and get a little bit of our rich heritage. There were horses and buggies here. I like horses, and suggested that be done up big on the left side. But I didn't want the scene cluttered up with detail.

Charlie doesn't want the history of the area lost or forgotten, and wanted the elements of affluence and vitality of the area recaptured and preserved in the Mural. Today, many of the homes in the area STILL have the carriage houses for the horse buggy. Mandy: "We found a picture of a woman in a horse and buggy and we used that as a point of reference to create it. What you see is an upper class style of people as was the case in this area of the city. And it was fun to do a nighttime scene. It was something that we'd been wanting to do."

Jennifer Johnson: "We named the horse Charlie. Charlie Horse. If you look there's actually a little brass plaque that says Charlie. Charlie was phenomenal and fun to work with!"

Mandy: "I had a book of quotes and we decided that we really wanted to have a quote on the Mural. It's nice to see, it's positive, it's uplifting to go with the experience of seeing a Mural. We had a book with dozens and dozens of quotes and we really liked this quote above all the rest, as it seemed to fit with the stars and the night scene. And we certainly don't mind passing along a message like that to other people."

"It was tough working close to the fence. We were working in garbage, literally. There were some garbage bins there and we had to put up our scaffolding there. Mondays were our favourite."

Jennifer: "Garbage day was Monday but that meant working all weekend with the garbage piled up high. By Saturday it was pretty rank. We had a scaffolding set up above the garbage and if you dropped a paintbrush you had to go down to get it!"

The second East Facing wall was an experiment in cubism. After the restaurant closed in 2009, this wall was painted over, and can now only be viewed in the RIP section.