For the second time in two years, local artists have paintbombed a Mac’s Convenience Store.
Fifteen artists with Definitely Superior Art Gallery’s Die Active Youth Art Collective turned the back wall of the Simpson Street Mac’s store into a community mural. The mural, officially revealed on Tuesday, stretched across the back of the store as well as wrapping along the side.
It took the artists about 20 hours to complete.
Andrew Vester was one of the artists involved in the project. It took the 20-year-old a few hours to sketch and design what he wanted to place on the wall before he set out to work.
He said he was happy with what the group accomplished.
“For me personally, having something that’s unique makes you feel more proud about your city,” he said.
“I just try and draw stuff that kind of fits my sense of humour. Obviously, it’s not going to be for everyone because everyone has different tastes.”
The first mural was painted on the back of the May Street North Mac’s store last year. Both projects were in partnership with Mac’s as well as Thunder Bay Crime Stoppers and Evergreen, A United Neighbourhood.
Die Active also allows more experience artist to mentor younger artists.
Boy Roland, who acted as a mentor for both mural projects, started with Die Active four years ago. Even before he became a mentor, Roland said he was often coming into the Die Active studio to work on projects.
He said the biggest lesson they learned from working on last year’s mural was how to incorporate everyone’s work more quickly.
“We have some great art in our community now,” he said. “It’s great that Mac’s gives us the openness to allow the artists to put what they want. You get to express and put on what you feel and I think that’s super important for a youth driven project. It’s giving a voice to the youth and the community.”
Lora Northway, outreach coordinator for Definitely Superior Art Gallery, said each year the Die Active group chooses a community art project to do.
Northway said Die Active is the only place for a young artist to receive a free mentorship.
“It’s a way to organize all the young artist’s interests and then we bring in mentors to teach them proper techniques for whatever they want to learn,” she said. “Everyone is enjoying that we’re improving their neighbourhood. We’re also bringing vibrancy to their community. It shows that youth are being included.”
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