‘Mural Mania’ to hit the streets of Harriston

Public art project will see four walls painted in 10 days

HARRISTON – Four new murals will adorn walls on downtown buildings here thanks to a Harriston Rising committee initiative.

Local residents and visitors will be able to watch the murals going up, economic development manager Belinda Wick told town council on July 14.

“Between July 28 and August 8 we will have four artists painting four walls in 10 days,” she explained.

While the painting is underway, Harriston Rising is hosting a “Mural Mania” event, featuring music in the streets, children’s activities and a scavenger hunt.

“Frozen Treats in the Streets” will be offered for those visiting the downtown on Aug. 9, with youngsters receiving a free sundae from the Magic Ice Cream Shoppe.

Funds for the project will come from a pool of downtown revitalization funding formed by a $42,000 Rural Economic Development grant, as well as contributions from community groups, local businesses, the Town of Minto and the County of Wellington.

“Over the next two years we will have $120,000 to do work, capital projects, in our downtowns,” said Wick-Graham.

One of the murals will be created Aidan Kenny, the artist who completed a colourful mural on the wall of the Crown Theatre/Magic Ice Cream Shoppe building on Elora Street last summer.

Artists Blaze Wiradharma, Matt Currie and Megan Oldhues will create the others.

The cost will be $5,000 per mural plus artists’ expenses.

In addition to the four new murals, one existing mural will be moved to another building, notes Wick-Graham in her report to council.

“Public art is an important element in our downtowns and adds to the quality of place in a community,” states Wick-Graham.

“The Harriston Rising Committee feels the addition of the murals will continue to improve the aesthetics of the downtown core.”

Council authorized the signing of agreements with the artists, as well as agreements to host murals with owners of five downtown buildings: Service Ontario/Recia’s Hair Styling, Harry Stones Social House, Midwestern Reality/Remax , the Royal Canadian Legion Harriston and Koeslag Consulting.