The Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne will unveil its Canada 150 Mosaic Mural on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.
It took the people of Shelburne just three months to paint over 260 individual metal tiles that are now being put together into a large mural.
Professional visual artist Janet Moore is heading up the project for the Osprey. She spent the summer holding painting sessions at the arts centre, the local farmers market and at her own studio. At each session, members of the public were invited to paint individual tiles.
Moore indicated on the back of each tile the colours of paint to be used and the location the tile will take in the final mosaic. Participants painted everything from abstract designs to ships and animals, people and still life images.
Each of the individually painted tiles fit together to create a larger image. Moore designed the project to create an image of several birch trees in fall foliage as if the viewer is looking up through the branches to a blue sky.
“While each of the individually painted tiles is a work of art in its own right, the overall effect of those autumn birch trees against that clear, blue sky is going to be stunning,” says Osprey general manager, Darcy Rhyno.
Moore is now assembling the individual metal tiles by fixing each of them to a large sheet of metal. The construction methods and materials are designed to protect the mural from the elements to increase the lifespan, which should be well beyond a decade.
At the unveiling the public, including many of the participants, will get to see the assembled mosaic mural for the first time. It will be attached to the outside wall of the Osprey just at the box office entrance.
Also at the unveiling, the Osprey will open an exhibition of Janet Moore’s own work. It will be easy to see the inspiration for the mosaic in that work, some of which will be for sale.
The Osprey’s mosaic mural is funded through Canada 150. Many of the tiles reflect the life, culture and history of the community in celebration of the country’s big birthday.
Three local sponsors came forward to complete the funding requirements – Belliveau Veinotte, which is a local accounting firm, the Shelburne County Arts Council and the Shelburne and Area Chamber of Commerce.
“This is truly a community-built work of art,” says Rhyno. “Our many, many painters, as well as our sponsors, just felt so good being part of something so positive for the Osprey, for Shelburne and for Canada.”
Live music by the Jazz Dabblers and refreshments will add to the festive atmosphere of the unveiling. The event is free to the public.