Alley facelift

Blacksmith's shop and Hill Meat Market added to laneway landscape

Artists Vern Unrau

The alley landscape behind Integris Credit Union has changed again.

The first mural was painted with assistance from the Quesnel Beautification Grant program and saw facsimiles of old Quesnel shops painted on the wall.

Mural painter Leigh Cassidy was at it again with her band of artistic troubadours in the weeks leading up to Billy Barker Days. The building, owned by Chudiak, Schmit and Co. wanted to do something attractive on an otherwise quite ugly wall and the merchants who rent the space were very accommodating to the artists.

Cassidy chose Arthur’s Blacksmith Shop and the Hill Meat Market as the images to be painted on the wall. In keeping with the Canadiana-style mural already existing, they completed the bakery from the previous mural and continued on to the new historic images.

Integris staff, as is their way, was out cleaning the wall and making preparations before the painters arrived.

Cassidy said all the information for the authentic interpretation of the buildings was found at the local museum which provided great help in finding photos.

“It was quite amazing how many of our longtime Quesnel residents could not remember the colours of the buildings,” Cassidy said.

“Good thing the log cabin is fairly standard and there was at least one colour photo of the Hill’s store.”

She added it would be nice to get more of the alley done.

“It’s awesome how it has changed the look of the area,” she said.

Through the work on this latest mural, Cassidy was pleased to discover an accomplished airbrush painter, Vern Unrau; a new mural painting apprentice, Eve Eberding; a visiting and possibly new resident painter to Quesnel, Herb Weth; and the able assistance of longtime mural painting participant Gloria Magill.

“It would have taken a lot longer to finish the project without their help, so from all of Quesnel, thank you,” Cassidy said.

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