Lacombe, already know for its murals throughout the downtown, has added it’s latest creation — “Hey Doreen!”.
The mural, located near the intersection of 54th Avenue and 45th Street, is an homage to the year 1949 in Lacombe looking down Nanton Street and features a young man in Chevy pick-up truck waving to a friend on the street.
“I feel that it is the next generational grouping of our murals,” Shirley Flinn, member of the Lacombe Arts Endowment Committee, said. “The first historical murals are downtown and this is a little ways from downtown. It isn’t competing with the historical murals and it is a bright, polished new world after the war.
“People were very positive and I think that shows with the mural looking south down Nanton Street. It is so bright and cheerful and shows our world in a positive way.”
Larry Hunter, commercial artist and proprietor of Larry Hunter Art and Design, was the artist who designed and installed the latest mural — using more modern digital techniques than what has been used in the past.
Maureen MacKenzie, member of the Lacombe Arts Endowment Committee, said this method was something the committee was interested in.
“The committee really liked this one because it is a digital format which is new and in today’s era,” she said. “We want to make sure that our collection is always fresh, we are doing new things and we trying to help out citizens experience new formats of art.”
Despite being implemented digitally, the mural started off as a line drawing by Hunter.
“I draw all of the outlines on a scale of 1/2 inch to a foot,” he said. “I knew that it was going to be 100 feet long. I scanned the drawing into my computer and then this is coloured up on my computer using Photoshop.
“Once I have that digital file all finished, we send that to the printer who prints on 4 ft. x 8 t. sheets of vinyl and then applies the vinyl onto sheets of aluminum. Then it is just a matter of a jigsaw puzzle.”
The original drawing was based on black and white photos of the era in Lacombe submitted by the committee.
“The mistake that some muralists do is they take their black and white photos and then they paint a black and white mural,” Hunter said. “It just looks like a big photograph. I like to give it some life and vibrancy because the world was colourful back then.”
The method used by Hunter is commercially designed to last around 10 years, but since the mural is north-facing, it will likely far exceed that.
“We figure this will last 15-20 years and at that point, you just print new vinyl and go right over top of it,” he said.
Mackenzie said it is important to have public art outside so that more people are able to see it.
“It also gives us the opportunity to showcase the community because we have public art from the west end of town all the way to the east end of town. It gives people the opportunity to drive around and experience the community which is pretty cool,” she said.