The mosaic project proposed by Marina Papais and Daniel Collett, which has been financially supported by Ashcroft Council, has suffered a minor setback; but both artists are determined that the project will continue.
The plan is for the creation of a 12 square foot glass mosaic depicting a sketch made of Railway Avenue by Group of Seven artist A.Y. Jackson. Entitled “Ashcroft, B.C., 6 September 1945”, the graphite on paper sketch depicts the buildings on the west side of Railway between 2nd and 3rd, although the only building still extant is the Grand Central Hotel. Although the sketch is not in colour, Jackson clearly meant it to serve as the basis for a painting, as a version of it shows the artist’s notes indicating what colours were to be used in different areas.
Four smaller pieces are also planned, each measuring four feet by four feet and depicting an aspect of life in and around Ashcroft. It’s hoped that the finished pieces will be displayed throughout the town.
Papais and Collett had received permission from the owner to use the old People’s Drug Mart space on Railway, but concerns from the insurers meant the site was not viable. However, the artists have decided to proceed with the projects, which will be started in their own workshop. Much of the equipment and material has been purchased, says Papais, who is trying to determine what subjects will feature in the smaller pieces. A few suggested themes are tomatoes (to acknowledge the cannery that played a large part in Ashcroft for more than three decades); desert roses or sage or Saskatoon berries; Chukkar partridges and marmots; horses and cattle; juniper trees; agriculture; and the railway, which played such an integral part in the founding of Ashcroft. “An old-style train would be a lot of fun to work with,” says Papais.
Community members who would like to take part are invited to participate in the projects. The Jackson piece will be a complicated one, but Papais hopes that the smaller pieces will attract people wanting to learn more about the art of mosaic-making and help with the creation of the pieces. Four to six hours per week is the anticipated time commitment, and the hours can be scheduled to accommodate individual interest and availability.
Papais and Collett were at the Wellness and Music Festival last week with several mosaic pieces in various stages of preparation, and signed up several people interested in working on the proposed mosaics. Anyone else who would like to take part in the project is urged to contact the Village Office (phone (250) 453-9161, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) with their name and contact information.