The Rotary Arts District is bringing art into the community in a big way.
Artist Shayne Lloyd will be painting a mural of an historic photograph of the Capitol Theatre on the Fourth Avenue side of the theatre. It is part of RAD Historical Moments: The Mural Project, a new initiative in the Rotary Arts District in uptown Port Alberni.
“This is the first of a number that will be on Argyle Street,” says Theresa Kingston, president of Arrowsmith Rotary Club.
The project comes from a new group called RAD Corps, based on the Rotary Community Corps program. The purpose of this group is to support and elevate the arts district on Argyle Street; its members are people interested in the arts district who don’t want to commit to a Rotary group.
Lloyd, a painter and pyrographic artist whose public artwork can be seen in the tsunami memorial at Argyle and Kingsway Avenue as well as a mural in front of Magic Moments on Third Avenue, approached the group with the mural concept.
“I like the idea of the look of embossed photos with a beveled edge,” he said. “I think this will appeal to the masses.”
The historical mural will depict opening day at the Capitol and will have an accompanying interpretive sign.
The RAD Corps group has been meeting informally every second Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre for the past two months, and is working on incorporation, said Brent Ronning from Portal Players Dramatic Society (one of the corps partners).
“Portal Players is a key partner in RAD, having our theatre right in the centre of it,” Ronning said. “We want to encourage more growth, more artistic things happening around us. This is all part of it.”
Portal Players embraced the mural idea when Lloyd approached RAD Corps about it, Ronning said, and is proud to be the first building for the new mural program.
“It’s going to be such a wonderful asset on Fourth Avenue, this blank canvas,” he said.
Lloyd, who grew up in Powell River and only moved to Port Alberni a few years ago to raise a family, agrees. “Maybe it’s a blessing I didn’t grow up here. I see a lot of potential here. It might not be the bustling area of business it used to be, but it still has so much character.”
Lloyd and volunteers from RBC Royal Bank on Third Avenue—Lloyd’s former employer and a supporter of the arts district—will start preparing the mural beginning Monday, June 27.