On a street already named to commemorate an influential figure in our history, another piece of New Glasgow’s history has been brought to life by the paintbrush of local artist Janet Wallace.
True to Pictou County and Nova Scotia, directions by referring to where everything once was, the three murals on the side of the downtown building that now houses a tattoo shop and restaurants, once was the home of Pictou County’s former newspaper The Evening News.
Wallace was commissioned by Jamie MacGillivray, owner of the building, to create the three murals on the side of the building where two windows and a door had once been. Going into the project, Wallace worked with MacGillivray and his property manager Peter Douthwright to come up with a concept for the mural. After the decision was made to pay homage to the old newsroom, Wallace added her own touch.
“I think I suggested the black and white sort of sepia tone,” said Wallace. She added that it felt more appropriate for the era she was planning on depicting. She said that she also enjoyed the experience of painting them because mural painting is very public and people often stop to talk to her about the project.
“I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of murals because you’re right out there,” she said.
As a fan of history herself, she found the commissions very interesting to work on and felt that Viola’s Way was a good spot for the murals because there will also soon be more art on the building across the street, the former Roseland Theatre.
Wallace is no newcomer to murals either as she has painted large murals in Los Angeles and more.
Having purchased the property a couple of years ago to help bring new business into downtown, MacGillivray wanted to add something to the outside.
“We saw a part of the building that was sort of lifeless and we wanted to pay homage to the history of the building,” said Douthwright about the space.
With the history of the building and the fact that the spaces for the murals used to be windows and a door, they thought making it look as if you are looking in the window would be ideal.
The murals are not the only art pieces to check out downtown though. Later this year Douthwright shared that a 5,000 square foot panel project will be placed on the north side of the former Roseland theatre building as well as 18 panels from a Viola Desmond art contest placed on the opposite of the building looking on to Viola’s Way.
Douthwright added that a large aluminum film reel wrapping is also planned to be placed on the building.