Emily Carr was pleased to see three new murals, inspired by her work, added to the Chemainus Festival of Murals (FOM) collection Saturday, Aug. 20.
A stand in for B.C.’s most famous artist was in attendance at the opening, which saw the three additions to the Emily Carr collection unveiled simultaneously at noon, while an appreciative audience applauded.
Molly Raher-Newman of Victoria, who has been filling the role of a modern-day Emily Carr look-alike for 18 years, was obviously pleased with the turn out for the event, and the unveiling itself.
Artists Cim MacDonald and Mario Labonte were on hand to sign and pose in front of their creations, which have been temporarily titled The Raven and Canoes by MacDonald (her fourth and fifth mural paintings); and Chemainus Bay by Labonte, which is based on a work Carr did when she visited the area in 1924.
FOM President Tom Andrews thanked the artists and explained the new process that is being used to display the three murals, which are affixed to the back walls of the Anthem Properties building, facing the lane between Legion and Mill streets.
Instead of being painted directly onto the building’s walls, the murals were completed on panels in the artists’ studios, then affixed to the walls.
“We hope this made it easier for the artists to paint without being impacted by the elements,” Andrews said.
He also thanked Anthem Properties, who were the major sponsors for the project, providing funding as well as wall space for the murals.
The unveiling brings to 10 the number of Emily Carr inspired works featured in five murals in the FOM walk. “We chose Emily Carr because she is one of Canada’s greatest artists, she is from Victoria, Vancouver Island, and she visited Chemainus in 1924, when she painted Chemainus Bay,” Andrews said.
As well as being honoured for her latest paintings, MacDonald was recognized for her 20 year contribution as FOM curator. “Cim is dedicated to the mural program through her restoration work and continuous maintenance and cleaning of the over 40 murals in our collection,” Andrews said.