Grand Bend Beach House Mural Project continues

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Lambton Shores staff install murals on the Grand Bend beach house in 2018. A new crop of murals will be installed this summer.
Lambton Shores staff install murals on the Grand Bend beach house in 2018. A new crop of murals will be installed this summer. Photo by Handout /jpg, LA

GRAND BEND – The beach house in Grand Bend will have a fresh new look this summer as the Grand Bend Art Centre (GBAC) is in the middle of a project to replace the murals that have adorned the facility since the summer of 2018.

Fifteen murals were unveiled at the beach house in July 2018 as part of The Beach House Mural Project, and GBAC executive director Teresa Marie Phillips said last week the intention for the project was always to make it a revolving outdoor art show.

She said the project is a chance for working artists to have their art on display in public for a couple of years as part of a project that aims to eventually be self-sustaining.

Artists have already submitted their portfolios to the volunteer committee overseeing the project, and Phillips said those chosen for phase two will have certain parameters to work under with the committee. Photographers were also invited to submit work this time around.

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The theme for this year’s project is “Our Community – A Place for All.”

“Bringing people together,” Phillips said of the idea behind the theme, adding they wanted positive and vibrant work.

This year’s project has a budget of $25,000, and artists and photographers are paid between $750 and $8,500 for their work.

Phillips said the Municipality of Lambton Shores will install the artwork once it’s ready, and she’s hoping that in addition to artwork at the beach house, some businesses around town will buy some of the artwork and display them throughout the town.

“It’s a really slow way to paint the town,” she said, adding that one and possibly two sculptures will also be going up on Grand Bend’s Main Street. She said it’s another way for the GBAC to bring art to Main Street.

Of the 15 murals that have been on display at the beach house since 2018, Phillips said people were happy to see the work, which represented a variety of subjects.

“People love to stand in front of David’s boat,” she said of Grand Bend artist David Bannister’s mural on the west side of the beach house.

As for the side that faces the Grand Bend Rotary Stage on the beach, Phillips said they’re hoping to keep it musical-themed. For the side that faces the playground equipment, organizers are looking for something bright, bold and colourful for children and families.

“It’s about opportunities for working artists and (I) hope it continues,” Phillips said of the mural project. The new crop of art that is displayed later this year could stay up for two to three years.

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Phillips said it means a great deal to artists to have their work on display.

“To stand in front of your work where the general public can see it for free is just a wonderful feeling, and a great opportunity to get more work. It’s like an advertisement of yourself, but it’s also a celebration.”

In other local art news, Phillips said the 25th anniversary of Paint Ontario takes place May 7-30, and sculpture and a Spring Tulip Garden have been added as part of the celebration.

The GBAC is also offering pottery classes.

For more information on opportunities available at the GBAC, visit gbartcentre.com. Phillips said she’d like to see the Art Centre become a big part of the community and offer as much as they can for Grand Bend and the area.

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