Alex Morrison (ED, Transcona BIZ): "This Mural is a gallery in its own right, with three soulful expressionistic portraits of the iconic animals of Manitoba. Artists Shelby Willis and Cheryl Metcalf of Edmonton AB, worked through blistering heat to create this beautifully moving tribute to the Manitoba wilderness. It resonates with everyone: you can literally feel the spirit of each creature when you look into their deep and detailed eyes. Located on the east facing wall of RJ Accounting 314 Bond St, the best time to view this Mural is mid morning, when the sun lights it up like a neon sign! It's a brilliant trick."
Shelby Willis: "I am a self-taught artist, with a background in Environmental Sciences. I bring my passion for nature and wildlife to life, in what I like to call 'soulful spirit animal renditions'. The intuitive brushstrokes and positive energy that I pour into each painting has led me to refer to the animals I paint as spirit animals. People have said that it's like I am creating these creatures from the inside out, starting with their souls and ending with their physical forms. I liked that description!"
"I love pushing the boundaries of what is possible and strongly believe that if you fearless pursue your biggest dreams, you are completely capable of making them happen. It was this thinking that gave me the confidence to take on this huge 15ft by 50ft wall."
"I have always been inspired by my Mom, Cheryl Metcalf, who is also a self taught artist. Cheryl has always supported my creative side so it was a no brainer to invite her to join me; it was such a fun adventure to be able to take on this Mural with her help. We are both from Edmonton, however have strong roots to Winnipeg. My Grandma/Baba a.ka. Cheryl's Mom was born in Winnipeg, and my Grandma on my Dad's side was also born in Winnipeg. My Dad's Mom is a descendant of Elzear Goulet, who has a memorial park dedicated to him in St. Boniface, Winnipeg."
"The idea for the circles was inspired by Mural art seen in Northern Canada, and was a special request by the business owner. I incorporated the circles, using fun bright colours, and made sure that the animals were not constrained by them, by leaving ears and horns poking out of each. It's a nice reminder always think outside of the box!"
"The Bison, the Moose and the Wolf were chosen to represent the spirits of animals commonly found in Manitoba. The Bison Spirit Animal stands for abundance and liberation. The Moose Spirit Animal stands for self esteem and courage and the Wolf Spirit Animal stands for deep connection with your intuition and instinct."
"It is my hope that the bright colors the animals are depicted in will exude positive energy to all those who see it, and inspire an even greater appreciation for Manitoba's wilderness and the animals that reside in it. "
"This Mural is one among several other bright and beautiful Murals that create a sort of outdoor art gallery walk in downtown Transcona. Definitely worth checking out!"
"We would like to extend a special thank you to Tom Ethans at Take Pride Winnipeg and Alex Morrison at Transcona Business Improvement Zone for inviting us to take on such a fun project! Thank you to Keana Lander, a local aspiring Mural artist for helping us out and also thank you to Dulux paint and Herc Rentals for donating some of the supplies. It is an honor to have a Mural among the hundreds of other Murals in Winnipeg that make the City such a vibrant place to live, full of history and stories."