Mural brightens downtown Fredericton business

Downtown Fredericton Inc. partners with local business and artists to commission a mural on Westmorland Street.

During the winter months, local artists Penny Heather and Laura Forrester approached Downtown Fredericton Inc. with their idea of starting a mural festival in Fredericton.  While the festival is still in its planning stages, Downtown Fredericton expressed interest in testing a location this summer.

“Murals add colour and vibrancy to cities; they tell stories and become points of interest for both residents and visitors. When Laura and Penny approached us, we thought this would be a great opportunity for us to bring some beauty to our downtown” explains Krista Rae, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Downtown Fredericton Inc.

The owner of S/S Tire & Auto, Shane Sutherland, was quick to offer prime space on the Westmorland Street side of his business for the mural.  “Every day, hundreds of cars pass by our business – and many spend a minute or more stopped at the traffic lights. I thought this would be a great way to engage Frederictonians and hopefully brighten their day a bit when they see this piece of art.”

The artists were asked to find a way to tie their design into the downtown, but were otherwise given free reign to come up with a concept for the space.  “We wanted to represent the diversity of different peoples of both the past and present in a way that is openly interpreted and inclusive to all. The main figures of the design are all locally found animals, which are designed together in harmony: the blue heron, wood turtle, and white tail deer. These represent three different habitats of our region: sky, river, and land” explains Heather, with Forrester adding “Hidden within each figure are different beloved aspects of downtown Fredericton: Harvest Jazz & Blues in the wing of the heron, with music flowing into a rainbow which represents pride & acceptance. The walking bridge is hidden on the turtle’s shell and within the deer is City Hall. We hope that our work reflects the pride we have of our city.”

Work on the mural began on Monday, and it is expected to be finished this weekend.