Local artist Vicki Myers and two inmates from the Drumheller Institution have rolled up their sleeves and have started painting the murals for the CN corner beautification project.
As explained in inSide Drumheller, January 8 edition, the murals, based on old photos of Drumheller in its coal mining days, will be erected at the site known as the CN corner, located at the intersection of South Railway Avenue and 2nd Street West.
They are part of a project led by Communities in Bloom in association with the institution’s Inside Out program and many other businesses to beautify this area of Drumheller.
Working at the Ag Society Stampede Barn, the project posed a challenge to both Myers and the inmates as none had done this before.
“At first the inmates weren’t too sure what they were doing, because they started the project from scratch,” explained Myers, “from building and priming the canvasses, then receiving a one day painting class. After that one day, they both took to it really well and they were interested and wanting to do it.”
As neither inmates had painted before, they were both unsure about the project.
“I had never done it before, I didn’t want to mess it up,” explained one of the inmates to inSide Drumheller.
But this soon changed as the painting progressed.
“I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but it has worked out and it is starting to grow on me,” said the other inmate.
Myers told inSide Drumheller she was impressed how quickly the murals were shaping up with only two inmates painting, and explained this is the right amount of people for the project.
“It allows me to spend enough time with each of them to get them going so they can work independently,” she said.
Trish Parker, who drives the Inside Out program for the institution, is very impressed about the group’s achievements.
“I am so pleased our plan is coming together, I was worried about how it would turn out, I wasn’t sure Vicki would catch on to what we are trying to do and she did, now she is really excited and she sees the meaning of what we are trying to accomplishwith the inmates and how important it really is.
If we save one life by changing their attitude, believe me we have done a lot,” said Parker.
The project seems to have had the right influence on the inmates too, one of them telling inSide Drumheller, “At first I wasn’t sure about doing it, but it is giving back to the community and you have to start somewhere so this is a good start.”
Asked whether any of them had discovered a hidden talent and would carry on painting after this project, “Maybe fences and drywalls,” laughed one of the inmates.