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New mural titled ‘Justice’ unveiled in New Glasgow

Justice can stand for different things and mean different things to people, which is what makes the latest large scale art piece in downtown New Glasgow so captivating to everyone who sees it.

A new art installment titled Justice can now been viewed on the north side of the former Roseland Theatre to cover the wall which once bordered an older building.

With colours of green, blue, orange and more shooting across the massive piece, yet enough detail that you can see the paint flecks of the spray paint used to create the original, the new piece is an eye-catcher and certainly a statement in the downtown core.

The mural was commissioned by building owner Jamie MacGillivray and painted by artist Christian Toth in a process spanning two years.

“We had to cover up the wall, it was built against another building,” shared MacGillivray. “We wanted something modern and funky.”

As the wall needed to be covered anyway, MacGillivray said that covering it up would be expensive regardless, so the extra money to make the large space into a piece of public art for everyone to enjoy was something he wanted to do to make the space more interesting and bring a bit more colour into the downtown area. MacGillivray shared that he knew he was looking for a graffiti style artwork and he let Toth decide where to go from there after they chose what colours would be used in the artwork.

For Toth, although he has done some other big murals and pieces such as the one on Halifax’s Argyle Street, he shared that this piece is by far his biggest. The mural itself is titled, Justice.

“It’s a visual embodiment of what the firm (MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law) represents,” Toth said. “It’s meant to be interpretive.”

As a large scale and bright artwork, he added that it is meant to make people talk and have discussions and also draw the eye with lots of new things to see each time. He chuckled that along with abstract lettering of the name MacGillivray in the piece, there are also a few other hidden pictures or words in the art which no one else knows about.

The original piece was created on canvas and was created with oil and acrylic paint as well as spray paint. Once completed, Toth had to take 20 to 40 high-resolution photos of the work and a lot of precise measurements to be able to blow it up to the size of the building without losing detail.

“We’re going to continue to extend something on to the back wall,” he shared, mentioning that the side of the building facing Archimedes Street will have some art painted directly on it with some of the original brick exposed. The air unit on top of the building entrance, which sits in front of the mural, will also be painted to help it blend in with the rest of the mural.

This massive new piece is not all for the historical building, however; art pieces from the Viola Desmond contest will be placed on the south side wall of the building followed by a large film reel that will wrap around the south wall on to the back.

From left, building owner Jamie MacGillivray stands with artist Christian Toth, center, and Mayor of New Glasgow Nancy Dicks, right, to show off the latest art piece in New Glasgow which has been placed on the side of the former Roseland Theatre. (Brimicombe photo)