Cristy Bruce of Cristy’s Devine Designs is head designer for the mural project. Autumn MacDonald photo

Local artists go big for WF Centre mural

3-D masterpiece constructed by Quesnel duo unveiled this weekend

By Nicole Field

Special to the Observer

The 7,200-square-foot mural for Quesnel’s West Fraser Centre, which began construction mid-April of 2016, reflects the fact that local mural artist Lee-Anne Chisolm loves a challenge – in this case, a huge one.

“I had never done a 3-D piece before,” Chisolm acknowledges with a laugh. She and her partner, Aaron Harder, have worked on large-scale, one-dimensional murals for downtown Quesnel businesses before, and they’ve impressed clients and onlookers with the finished products. So, when Chisolm was asked if she knew of experienced three-dimensional muralists, she couldn’t resist enlisting Harder and herself for the job.

The plans for the mural design began in September of 2016 and, after months of collaborating with head designer Cristy Bruce from Cristy’s Devine Designs, the first touches hit the wall in the spring of 2017.

The design process was one that involved hours of drafting and re-drafting and a few sleepless nights for Harder and Chisolm.

The mural, though large in scale, had to be prominent enough and with enough contrast to be seen within the grand walls and space of the arena. So it wasn’t just a matter of creating a three-dimensional piece – it had to be more pronounced than the expanse of concrete walls.

The artists wanted to create a scene that both illustrated the elements of nature and implemented the Cariboo’s two main industries, forestry and mining, by using wood and metal as material. To produce softness against the wooden backdrop, Chisolm had to handle an unwieldy paint sprayer and manipulate a 72-foot span of clean-edged silhouettes.

“It wasn’t easy. My right arm is definitely more toned than the other one!”

Approximately 100 individual pieces of steel and copper were cut and shaped into the pieces that extend from the base, establishing the projection intended. To draw the mural out farther, each unique cut-out was torched and painted, which created more depth with a patina effect.

The sharp iridescence, and green and turquoise shine that resulted adds a touch of life to the scene. You can almost see parts of the mural move when the light hits it just right.

It has taken approximately 700 hours of hand-crafted precision and relentless commitment to complete the mural, and the two artists couldn’t be more driven. “I’m not looking forward to going back to work,” Harder admits, as if the massive project had not been work at all.

The mural, much like the centre, remains under wraps until the performance of Canadian rock band 54-40 Saturday night, Sept. 16, and the official grand opening set for Sunday, Sept. 17 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Just Posted

Program allows grades 4-5 students to ski for less

The SnowPass is eligible at Troll Resort, as well as more than 30 mountains across B.C.

Quesnel ringette teams showed talent in Prince George tournament

A range of ages played and won in annual competition Nov. 10-12

University ‘sports’ can be less athletic

Correlieu student Katherine Osmond on unique university sports that focus on fun

Quesnel’s Atom Select team wins Kamloops tournament

Quesnel Thunder took top spot in Okanagan tournament with outstanding performance

Skies over Quesnel will light up on Dec. 2 with magnificent fireworks display

As a thank you to all their loyal supporters and a gift to the community, Billy Barker Days Society is sponsoring a fireworks display

VIDEO: Quesnel’s Debbie Unrau creates very unique keepsakes

The Observer’s Annie Gallant speaks to Debbie Unrau about her memorial jewellery creations

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

B.C. VIEWS: China a better partner than U.S.

B.C. is slowly winning the softwood lumber war

Forecast calls for a snowy Canadian winter

Canadians told to brace for a ‘classic’ Canadian winter with lots of snow

Most Read