Kathleen Oliver Stroman painting a concrete retaining wall in the parking lot of 49th Parallel Grocer. (Cole Schisler photo)

Kathleen Oliver Stroman painting a concrete retaining wall in the parking lot of 49th Parallel Grocer. (Cole Schisler photo)

Mural at 49th Parallel pays tribute to Richmond family and community events

Local artist Kathleen Oliver Stroman is hard at work on the mural

Ladysmith artist Kathleen Oliver Stroman is hard at work on a new mural in the parking lot of 49th Parallel Grocer.

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The mural depicts 49th founders Wayne and Harmina Richmond with their parade cars. The Richmonds cars have been in countless Festival of Lights and Ladysmith Days parades. The mural pays homage to those events and the Ladysmith Show ‘n’ Shine, which were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Kathleen has done an amazing job out there,” 49th Parallel CEO Peter Richmond said. “We started talking about community and events — some of the events we’ve been missing.”

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Oliver has been hard at work for the past week and work is ongoing. She’s contending with a record-breaking heatwave, which limits the number of hours she can put into the mural.

In between the parade cars, there are depictions of Wayne and Harmina, the Richmond family and the 49th Parallel store, along with some balloons, trees and racing flags.

“It’s a tribute to the family and the community we have,” Oliver said. “I don’t know what else I’m going to put in it yet.”

Due to the heat, Oliver expects the mural will take another week or two to complete.

Once she’s finished the project, she looks forward to working on more murals in Ladysmith.

Kathleen can be contacted at: artkath1011@gmail.com.