Daily Archives: June 15, 2011

Fostering Rural Community Development Through Outdoor Murals

The Town of Flower’s Cove has been the first in the Strait of Belle Isle region to embrace outdoor art in the form of brightly colourful signs depicting local attractions. Additionally, they have posted an outdoor mural in the parking area of the White Rocks Walking Trail.

This image certainly garners attention and encourages travellers to pull-off and stop. This is an excellent form of marketing for the small town. More visitors will likely take some time to walk Marjorie Bridge, explore the Thrombolites, visit St. Barnabas “Sealskin Boot” Church, view Flower’s Island Lighthouse and stroll the waterfront. In turn, these visitors may stop to shop at one or more businesses a long the Viking Trail (Route 430) or eat at the local L & E restaurant. The Town has the opportunity to create an open-air art museum. I can envision a series of black and white paintings scattered about a vast walking area of the Town when it was known as French Island Harbour with French fishing vessels at port, the days of Rev’d. Canon John Thomas Richard, harbour front and fishing activities, logging, daily living and events of social and cultural significance.

There is much value in our rural communities posting outdoor folk art, murals and story panels. It is common in other parts of Canada and around the world. I have a few images of my travels to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Whitehorse, Yukon.

The “Jaw”, Thanks Carolyn for informing me your very lovely hometown.

A weekend in Whitehorse! It is a pleasure to just walk around Town to see the art everywhere. Make sure you take in the Frantic Follies while you are there. Best 2.5 hours of laughter you can get for $22.50.

I have fond memories of seeing outdoor Vincent van Gogh art in Amsterdam, Tin Tin cartoons in Brussels, informative panels in Berlin, Germany;  Miquelon (Territory of France) and Battle Harbour, Labrador and many interesting images and murals on my travels.

Below is a YouTube video of a mural taken place in Thunder Bay, Ontario, a city I had the opportunity to visit on my return to Rural NL.

It is quite encouraging to see the Town of Flower’s Cove embrace this means of outdoor art as it has looked at what the Town currently has, utilizing the talent and assets of community to further develop them to create sustainability.

Other Towns and Communities may wish to  engage in this practise, telling stories with images, art forms and panels throughout the Great Northern Peninsula. All of these collections of oral cultures, images and artwork serves limited economic and social value if it is not shared. This is one small measure that will help build our rural regional community.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, liveruralnl@gmail.com

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