The Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery Community Mural Project is an opportunity for members of the public to add their own brush strokes to one of the murals as they are being created. The idea came fromIsabelle Kay, a member of the BIA Mural Committee in 2006, who mentioned it was something she had experienced as a child and had never forgotten. This seemed like an excellent idea, so during our first Mural Festival in 2007 it was decided that one of the murals would be done as a community mural, allowing all who wanted to participate to do so.
Community murals are is done under the watchful guidance of an art director to ensure the quality of the finished mural is up to the same standard as those paintings in the collection that are created by professional mural artists. The art director facilitates the mixing of the colours and guides the participants to apply the paint in the correct spots,t using various methods of applicatio (sometimes using glazes, sometimes having two or three participants with different colours blending the paint directly on the mural surface). This makes it accessible for people who have never painted before to join in on the fun! It also serves as a mini lesson in mural painting. Many people comment that the process is a lot like paint by numbers; however trying to make the painting look as close as possible to the original is quite a task.
Our first community mural in 2007 was Tom Thomson's "Autumn Garland." It is proudly displayed on the east wall in the town square in front of the Algonquin Theatre. This painting had over 1337 people add their brush strokes, making its creation truly a community effort. To date, we have had participants from all around the world, and everyone who paint is asked to sign into our 'Famous Artist Book,' leaving a comment about their experience if they'd like.
This event is free to the public, and since the inception of The Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery Community Mural Project, we have created 10 murals using this methodThe community mural is usually created in downtown Huntsville in a highly visible area on the main street sidewalk during the mid-summer. Look for this year's community mural dates on Facebook page.