I'm always looking for something positive to report on Southwestern Ontario's historical scene. Often months go by. But this summer's day trips have provided me with lots of visual reminders of our local history in the form of colourful murals. Not only am I enjoying them, I'm starting to go out of my way to see them.
I figure these murals are great in lots of ways: they provide work for artists; they celebrate our region's unique heritage and character; they help revitalize struggling small towns by providing energy and interest; heck, they may even bring in a few tourist dollars.
Most of them are painted in the artist's studio on panels and then assembled on site. This means that a mural can be taken down, repaired, if necessary, and remounted later, even in a different location. Occasionally, though, there's one painted directly on a building wall.
Of course not all murals feature local history. But this is a history blog so this is what you get:
|On the side of a building in downtown Exeter, facing a parkette, this mural by Allen C. Hilgendorf features the town's Grand Trunk Railway station.|
|This mural at 172 Main Street, Ailsa Craig, shows five buildings from the town's past as well as portraits of the village founders.|
|What better way to brighten a boring bank? Mural in Lucan by A. R. Gillett, 2019.|
|This memory of the 1925 Clinton Old Boys' Reunion, complete with photo corners, greatly improves an ugly building next to a town parking lot.|
|Once again, a bank sponsors mural art, this time featuring historic headlines in Seaforth. Note the historic post office building in the background where the clock tower even showed the right time.|
|A newish mural of the Old Courthouse on the side of DeMelo Law, 239 Colborne Street, London. |
What a nice touch.
Got a blank wall? Hire an artist! I'll be adding more as I prowl throughout the summer.