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Local Mural: Bird of Hope

Bird of Hope – The Heron

By Mique Michelle

Internationally renowned graffiti artist Mique Michelle, also known as Dominique Boisvenue, grew up in Field. Although her work as a painter brings her all over the world – Canada, the U.S., South America, Europe, and Africa – she has a soft spot for West Nipissing. The Métis artist wanted to bring a message of courage and hope to the area in light of COVID-19 and the loss of several community members. The gigantic soaring heron honours the losses by displaying the community members’ names inside its feathers. The Ojibwe words for “courage” and “see you again soon” are also incorporated within the artwork. 

It is located on the north-facing wall of the Tribune building at 206 King Street.

Roses Are Pink

By your artist friend, Liane Longfellow

The well-known local artist was asked to paint a mural for the Nipissing Flower Shoppe in the heart of downtown Sturgeon Falls. Angèle, the business owner, kept an open mind as Liane shared sketched and ideas. Their creativity and collaboration resulted in a bright, somewhat abstract, navy and fushia set of roses – in line with the shop’s brand colours. The piece was mounted just in time for the 2019 International Plowing Match in West Nipissing.

This colourful mural hangs on the side of the Nipissing Flower Shoppe building at 188 King Sreet facing William Street. 

Local Mural: The Sturgeon

The Sturgeon Fish

By Hélène Chayer

The Sturgeon fish is part of the Municipality’s heritage and was once fished for caviar. This mural was originally created for the IPM display for the Sturgeon Falls Beautification Group by Hélène Chayer. It has since been reworked by adding colour and background. 

The Sturgeon hangs on the Minnehaha Bay Marina at 300 Main Street.

Local Mural: Mama Wolf's Garden

Mama Wolf’s Garden
Le jardin de Mama Lou

By Aimée Rivet and Cole Baker

Artists Cole Baker and Aimée Rivet of the local business called Arts Studio / Studio d’arts transformed a 20-metre-wide fence into a colourful flower garden. It was inspired by Aimée’s late grandmother’s garden.

The work can be seen at the private parking near 196 King Street.

Local Mural: A Time to Relax

Precious Moments

By Marcie Cloutier

Marcie took some of her inspiration from photos of a trip to Greece taken by Gayle Primeau, lead of the Sturgeon Falls Beautification Group. A sunny Mediterranean feel to her painting with a mother and child seated at a table surrounded by bougainvillea trees. Both Precious Moments and A Time to Relax are embedded with messages of community, love, warmth, beauty, growth, kindness, sharing and caring. 

The mural is located on the south-facing wall of Lorraine’s Restaurant on at 48 Front Street.

Local Mural: Precious Moments

A Time to Relax

By Simone Desormiers

Simone Desormiers’ painting is an outdoor scene of a meal set on a table in a fenced-in patio, with a stone paved walkway leading the eye to a garden and expansive sky. Desormiers took her inspiration from various sources. Both A Time to Relax and Precious Moments are embedded with messages of community, love, warmth, beauty, growth, kindness, sharing and caring.

The mural is located on the south-facing wall of Lorraine’s Restaurant at 48 Front Street.

Local Mural: A Well of Knowledge

Well of Knowledge

By Joelle Myre

Local artist Joelle is fascinated by circle patterns and abstract artwork because it leaves much of the interpretation to the viewer. People get to enjoy this piece in their own way, with a personal perspective. 

The beautiful mandala is displayed at the Literacy Alliance of West Nipissing, 184 King Street, at the back entrance off of William Street.

In the photo: Gayle Primeau on the left, Joelle Myre on the right.

Local Mural: Soaring to New Adventures

Soaring to New Experiences 

By Paulyne Charron

The artist created a whimsical mural inspired by the tree of knowledge. It represents that learning, getting out of a comfort zone, and trying new things can be fun. The piece showcases books flying from a tree and turning into butterflies as they rise, illustrating that in literacy, everything is new – that in learning, one can soar. 

The inspiring piece is suitably displayed at the Literacy Alliance of West Nipissing, 184 King Street, at the back entrance off of William Street.

Local Mural: Cyclist

A Flip of Faith 

By Tracy Decaen

The mural is an acrylic rendition of a cyclist doing a flip in a stop-action stream. Decaen’s painting has a unique greyscale quality, inspired by her experience in charcoal artwork and realism. The mother of three made her mural a family event. Her daughter named the painting and her two girls helped her establish where the bikes should be on the mural.

The mural is mounted on the building occupied by the Behind Bars bicycle shop at 48 John Street.

Local Mural: Wings of Hope

Wings of Hope
Les ailes de l’espoir

By Julie Lafrenière

This mural is interactive, inviting viewers to become part of the scene. Visitors can get a photograph of themselves between the vibrant multi-coloured wings, which was designed by Alexa Jessome and painted by Julie Lafrenière. Within the piece is a reflective Gandhi quote chosen by Gayle Primeau: “I must be the change I wish to see in the world”. The names on the bottom of the mural are a dedication to Gayle’s mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. 

Wings of Hope is located at the corner of John and Main.

Local Mural: Sunflowers

Fields of Sunflowers

By Lori Delorme

The mural adds a bright sunny touch to the downtown area. It was painted by Lori Delorme to commemorate the shop owners, her father and aunt who both loved sunflowers. It features large sunflowers in the foreground and a forest in the background. Up close, viewers can see butterflies, bees and hummingbirds that give the painting additional life. 

The two-panel artwork can be seen on the southern wall of the Stop and Shop at 226 King Street

In the photo: Lori Delorme on the left, Gayle Primeau on the right.

Local Mural: Paw Prints

Paw Prints to My Heart

by Lisa Filiatrault

This mural celebrates pets and the joy they bring us. The store-owner and artist created this two-panel mural that was inspired by her clients – both human and furry. The painting, displaying a chalkboard-like background, features the paw prints of Filiatrault’s various clients, accompanied by their names. Inside is a drawing of a hand meeting a paw, captioned with the phrase “When I needed your hand, you gave me your paw.” It is illustrative of the positive impact a pet can have on a person’s life. 

The mural is located at Lisa’s Pawfect Pet Grooming shop at 56 John Street.

Local Mural: George

George the Rocking Gorilla

By Jocelyne Labelle

A big colourful gorilla with headphones is an appropriate addition to for the wall of the downtown store it represents. The mural is a replica from the collection of works by famous artist Banksy. The mural has a pastel feel to it although it was created using outdoor paint. Labelle gives full credit to Banksy for the original concept and sees her painting as a homage.

It can be seen on the south wall of Audio Video + Home Furnishings on the corner of King and William Streets. 187 King Street

Local Mural: Martin the Friendly Bear

Martin the Friendly Bear

By Shirley Rose Cockburn

Shirley who is well-known for her landscape artwork has been experimenting with the subject of wildlife – particularly bears. She is a well accomplished artist who loves to share her passion through art studies, art shows, offering workshops, and selling personal original artwork. 

This Mural graces the north wall of the building that houses Pharmacie Aubin, at the corner of King and Queen Streets. 220 King Street

Local Murals: I See You

I See You

By Paulyne Charron

The outdoor scene offers its viewers a play on perspective. It showcases a hunter’ view looking out from his jacket. Paulyne’s goal was to illustrate the experience by focusing on his/her perspective – the hunter’s view.

The mural is mounted on the north wall at the corner of John and King on the PBL building. 162 King Street

Local Mural: Healthcare Hero

Healthcare Heroes

by Dianne Lacourcière

The artist and retired healthcare worker created the piece as an homage to all frontline workers facing the COVID-19 health crisis. The artwork was adapted from that of Denver based artist Austin Zucchini-Fowler. Displayed is a winged healthcare worker wearing a pair of red boxing gloves, surrounded by floating dots – representing the airborne virus. The concept of caring and fighting for one’s community is strongly embodied in this painting. 

The two-panel mural is situated on the north facing wall of the building at the corner of John and Main and was sponsored by the West Nipissing Community Health Centre.

Think Happy Be Happy

By your artist friend, Liane Longfellow

The 70’s inspired mural was hung up to raise the spirits of community members during trying times. Liane’s professional line of artwork, made up of diverse mediums such as pottery and paint, is well-known for its colourful and uplifting vibe.

The bilingual panels are found on the side of the Nipissing Food and Bins store at 196 King Street

In the photo: Store owner Alice Arbour Giroux on the left, artist Liane Longfellow on the right.

Fishing on Caché Lake

By Flore Dauphinais Côté, Jocelyne Dauphinais Desbiens and Gisele St-Georges

The two-panel artwork pays an homage to the good life. The artists took pictures of the location and stitched an idea together for a representational piece of Caché Lake surroundings – the area they love and call home or camp. 

The mural can be seen on the Northern wall of the PBL Insurance building at the corner of King and John Street

In the photo: the three artists with Gayle Primeau (bottom)

Solitude

by Hélène Chayer

The Verner artist created this three-panel mural featuring a Northern Ontario landscape of birch trees, blue skies and water. The beautifully crafted painting brings earth tones and calmness to one of the busiest streets downtown. 

The artwork is mounted on the south side of the building housing La Vie en Couleur and MJD Place at 209 King Street.

Community Life

By Suzanne Brouillette and Raymonde Gaudette

This mural was created in 2018 in the spirit of beautification. The life-sized street setting features a walking trail, town houses, and a restaurant. The people in this piece were inspired by local residents who enjoy the town, walk their dogs, pick up leaves and work towards beautifying their community. The mural sends a message of gratitude for the beauty that surrounds us and also serves as an anti-littering awareness piece. 

The wide mural covers the entire side of the building on the corner of Main and William Street

In the photo: Gayle Primeau

Historical Mural of Sturgeon Falls

By Ashley Guénette and Courtney O’Neil

This mural showcases a wide variety of Sturgeon Falls landmarks including the old St-Jean-de-Brébeuf Hospital, the Abitibi Mill, the Windsor Hotel, and many others.

The historical mural is located at 159 Main Street

The First Mural 

By Mique Michelle

This mural was created in April 2017 in memory of our mothers. It featured fish from our lakes with a bright yet soft watercolour quality. Despite the fact that it has since been painted over, this mural holds a special place in Gayle Primeau’s heart, since it marked the beginning of the Downtown Murals project. Graffiti artist Mique Michelle came back in 2020 to paint the large heron on King Street. 

Who’s behind this? 

All murals are created by talented volunteer artists and are funded by donations from organizations, individuals and/ or local businesses. Each mural contributes to the spirit of Joie de Vivre by embodying community support and by encouraging local tourism. 

Many of the downtown mural projects were initiated by West Nipissing resident Gayle Primeau. Gayle is a passionate community leader and volunteer who is involved in various beautification and art-related initiatives in West Nipissing. The idea of sprinkling the community with colourful and meaningful artwork came from her parents who had visited Chemainus, British Columbia. She continues to work with local artists, businesses, and individuals to make the vision of an attractive downtown setting come to life.

Thank you to Isabel Mosseler for the articles and the continued support in the Tribune.

Thank you to Jeanine Beauchemin for her support for the translation and linguistic revision in French.

Other things to do in West Nipissing

Fishing in West Nipissing

The Great Outdoors

Splash Pad

Parks and Playgrounds

sunset

Boating and Beaches

Barn quilt art

Barn Quilt Trail

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