Five more murals will be painted on buildings in downtown Terrace this summer, organized by the Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society. This image shows a mural that was painted on the MNP LLP building under a similar initiative in summer 2019 by Facundo Gastia and the Raven-Tacuara collective. (Facebook photos)

Five more murals to be painted in downtown Terrace this summer

Several sculptures also in the works

There are several new public art projects coming to downtown Terrace this summer.

The Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society is commissioning five murals to be painted on buildings downtown, just as was done last summer and the summer before.

The theme this year is “celebrating our sense of place in the Northwest.” Only one of the murals being painted this year will feature salmon, according to Dave Gordon, president of the Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society. He said the content of the murals will remain a mystery for now.

“We’re going to keep that as a surprise and let the public see it as it comes out,” he said.

The planned mural sites are Dairy Queen, the back wall of Cedar Coast Dental, Investors Group Terrace, the Terrace Women’s Resource Centre, and Ninja Japanese & Korean Cuisine.

The Dairy Queen Mural will be painted by Smithers artist Facundo Gastia and the Raven-Tacuara collective, who together painted the MNP LLP building last year and the Stantec building in 2018. Cedar Coast Dental will be painted by Casey Braam, who painted Spotless Cleaning Centre last year and the Bank of Nova Scotia in 2018. Investors Group Terrace will be painted by Leah Pipe from Hazelton. Artists for the remaining two sites have yet to be selected.

In total the murals will be worth approximately $75,000, with funds coming from the Terrace Downtown Improvement Area Society (TDIA,) the Northern Chapter of the Steelhead Society of BC, the Terrace Women’s Resource Centre, SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, the building owners and possibly from a grant from the First Peoples’ Cultural Council.

The Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society, the City of Terrace and the TDIA are also commissioning 2 – 3 sculptures for downtown, with approximately $20,000 in funding. They are accepting proposals until July 15.

Gordon, who is also president of the TDIA, said Terrace has world-class sculptors and carvers.

“Folks like Dempsey Bob and Stan Bevan if you want to see their work you need to go to YVR or museums and galleries around the world, but you don’t see much of their work here,” he said, adding that skilled artists are being trained locally through the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art at Coast Mountain College. “And we have the Frieda Diesing School, which is putting out generational talent in terms of carvers and artists … We want to have some of that work in our downtown.”

The Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society has also for the past two years organized a Skeena salmon art show, which will be modified this year due to the pandemic.

“We can’t have an opening party this year, so it’ll be a bit of a softer opening, and a bit more online focused,” Gordon said.

This year the art show is, in fact, a “heart show,” with artists invited to create art on wood hearts (or other heart-shaped materials) which will be displayed in the Terrace Art Gallery, the Smithers Art Gallery, and the Misty River Arts Centre in Hazelton.

The hearts will be displayed on Facebook pages for the three galleries, and will be auctioned when the show ends, with half the proceeds going to artists and half to the galleries. There is also $2,100 worth of prizes for participating artists, with funds coming from the Northern Chapter of the Steelhead Society of BC, SkeenaWild Conservation Trust and Northern Savings Credit Union.

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