Mural Restoration

This restoration project was made possible by a grant from the Trillium Foundation of Ontario.  The Midland BIA partnered with the Quest Art School and Gallery and applied to the Trillium Foundation in the winter of 2007.  They were thrilled to receive $42,500.00 from Trillium.  The Midland BIA has almost matched that with a contribution of $37,000.00.  This is a 2 year project which started in mid July 2007 and will be completed by June 30, 2009.

Challenges of Mural Restoration

One of the biggest challenges is the weather.  The sunshine is great but it can really heat up the surface of the wall which faces east and gets the sun from first thing in the morning until approximately 4:00 p.m.  Also when the sun is out and it is hot the paint dries quickly and you no sooner have a colour mixed on your palette and it starts to dry and you have to mix it all over again.  Another factor is the wind.  It too, dries the paint quickly, and blows dirt and debris into your paint, on your wall and into your eyes.  The wind can also blow paint palettes, lids, brushes, etc. right off your scaffold.  Of course, there is rain.  Light rain is not too much of a problem but if it decides to really pour and you have wet paint on the wall it will run your paint completely down your mural.  I haven't had to experience the cold yet but you can't paint when it is lower than 10 degrees celcius or the paint will not cure properly.

I have enjoyed talking to many tourists from all over the world.  You wouldn't believe where people come from to our little Town.  I have signatures in my guest book from France, Germany, Wales, India and Sydney just to name a few.  The public is very interested in the murals.  Murals seem to be a Canadian American fad.  They are just starting to create them in Europe.  The tourists were very impressed by the large original paintings of our local history.  The compliments from the tourists and locals alike are never ending.  It gives you a great feeling to know you are building pride and goodwill in the community.

Murals do many things for a community as well as building pride and goodwill; they foster community partnerships; boost the local economy; improves the visual appearance of the urban environment; enhances the image of the local community; has a social value in the celebration and documentation of the heritage, special events and unique features of the community and they are just plain fun.

There are three local mural artists working on restoring the murals of Midland.  Terri-Lee Milley is working on the restoring the Midland Railway Corporation located on Dominion Avenue and Sonja Rathkee is restoring the Playfair Preston mural located on Bay Street. Ruth Hurdle is a local artist who works doing murals, portraits and fine art paintings.  She gladly accepts commissions for any of the above and her work can be seen at the Quest Gallery in Penetanguishene, ON.