Fernie artist Michael Hepher sits downtown Fernie, by the wall which he will begin painting shortly. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Artist Michael Hepher selected to paint mural downtown Fernie

The mural will be located on The Beanpod, 691 2 Ave, Fernie, on the outside wall.

Fernie artist Michael Hepher has been selected to complete the Fernie Mural Project, a roughly 15ft x 96 ft piece of public art on the side of The Beanpod chocolate shop.

His piece, All Kinds of Beauty, aims to capture the beauty in the diversity of the Elk Valley.

Combining his skills as a painter and print maker, the piece will take on an abstract, geometric look, and highlight the many aspects of life in the valley.

“As people move along the piece, they embark on a journey that hopefully shows them bits of themselves, but also showcases what parts others might be passionate about,” said Hepher in his artists statement.

“My goal will be to challenge viewers to understand more about Fernie, and as all good public art does, to force people to expand the dialogue about our own understanding about who we are and what defines our community.”

Embedded in the piece will be symbols of industry, recreation, indigenous history and architecture.

(A render of the mural. Note: Final paint paletted and colours will be determined according to consultation with Ron Ulrich at the Fernie Museum, as well as the Fernie Historic group. Image courtesy of Michael Hepher)

Hepher’s proposal was one of six submitted. The Fernie & District Arts Council explained in a release that the applications were all very strong and they had a, “tough, but exciting time selecting the final piece.”

The jury was made up of five individuals: Vanessa Croome, owner/operator of Claris Media and a visual artist; Ron Ulrich, executive director of the Fernie Historical Society and curator of the Fernie Museum; Theresa Malan, Fernie resident with seven years experience working for commercial galleries and on public art project in Banff; Erica Hornquist, architect graduate and owner/operator of Wild Wolves Design, and Mel MacVoy, visual artist with a degree in fine art.

The mural will be located on The Beanpod, 691 2 Ave, Fernie, on the outside wall. The mural will be on the side of the building on 7th Street.

Hepher looked up at the blank canvas as he stood on the sidewalk downtown. He admitted he’s both excited, and nervous undertaking a project of this size. It will be his largest painting to date.

“As an artist I’m always trying to find new ways to grow and challenge myself, and this certainly falls into that category,” he said.

“And yet at the same time I’m excited because one of the great things about being an artist in a small town is being able to see your affect on a community, being a part of growing and changing.”

The artist will begin applying the mural on the wall the week of September 2, with the aim to be completed by early October. A celebration and opening will occur around the middle of October, with dates to be confirmed later.

“We are very excited to have this piece added to the Fernie community and public art inventory,” said The Fernie & District Arts Council in a release. The group thanked the Columbia Basin Trust for supporting the project.

To learn more about the project and to read the entire artist’s statement, visit Theartsstation.com/publicart

To see some of Hepher’s other work, visit Michaelhepher.com

(Michael Hepher. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press)



editor@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

COs put down bear after it chases young girl in Kimberley

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Broken water valve to blame for dirty water across town

Run cold water through taps until clear, city currently repairing issue

Golden Girls: Kootenay Ice Agers are hockey champs

One year after a silver finish to the Kimberley/Cranbrook 55+ BC Games the Kootenay Ice Agers women’s hockey team set their sights on gold

Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo celebrates volunteers, sponsors

The Cranbrook Rotary Club honoured volunteers and sponsors of the Kootenay Rockies… Continue reading

Aquatic centre to remain closed for the next month

City staff say the closure is due to ongoing roof construction at Western Financial Place

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

What’s on at the Cranbrook Public Library

Mike Selby Finding herself kidnapped by a strange race of aliens, a… Continue reading

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Most Read