Painted dogs make big impression
K9 Awareness has new mural
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 06:00 am
There’s a great green field where the dogs are playing at K9 Awareness, the animal daycare and training facility in Riel Park. The sky is blue and there’s nary a leash in sight. It looks so much like doggie heaven that it can’t possibly be real.
Well, it isn’t. The expansive 4.2 m by 10.9 m work decorates the wall of the facility’s big pen so well that some of the real furry friends there mistake the painted ones for actual dogs.
“It’s so good that I’ve had a few dogs approach Charley to see if he’s real,” stated K9’s owner Kaytie Stack, referring to the image of one of her popular charges.
“This was a pretty blank canvas. I had originally thought of something fun like cartoonish.”
One of her staff members knew of a local visual artist named Cathy Jorden who could take on the momentous task of painting nearly 46 square metres of wall space to resemble something close to the dog friendly park at Lacombe Lake.
With photo portraits of various dogs courtesy of Stack, Jorden then went to the lake and took a panoramic shot to get a sense of the background landscape for the mural. It’s not a perfect replica of the park but more of an inspired setting for the dogs at the facility to feel more like they’re in the great outdoors. It’s a lot better than just looking at a cinder block wall. And Charley is right there, front and centre.
Every dog in the picture has been through K9 at one point or another, thus adding another dimension of hyper-reality to the project.
The writing on the wall
Adding art to the walls is nothing new. Businesses buy paintings or sculptures all the time as a way of humanizing a corporate office or simply providing something deeper and more meaningful for people to look at instead of bare walls or plastic plants.
Adding art on the walls isn’t new either. You could walk around downtown St. Albert to check out all of the public art that adorns private businesses. Morinville is much the same. Legal is well known as the French Mural Capital of Canada.
It’s the aspect of an indoor mural that is gaining traction around the city. Local painter Robert Murray recently completed a series of indoor murals right on the walls of Force on Force, an indoor tactical training facility located at Grandin Park Plaza.
These kinds of deals offer good exposure for the artist and do much to improve indoor environments of a wide range of business enterprises. The K9 commission, however, was a barter deal between Stack and Jorden. The exchange was for credit so that the painter could have her dog be a regular client.
“I was going to school at the time so owning a dog, going to school and trying to pay for a daycare was pretty tough. So Kaytie and I made an arrangement so that my dog could go to daycare for free for a certain amount of time.”
She now has two dogs, Kona and Rolo, who both attend K9.
It took Jorden several months to a year of working for a few hours at a time on Sundays or evenings (when no other dogs were in the facility) to complete the work.
The substantial artistic output resulted in an equally substantial trade for service. Barter has always continued to exist even in relatively stable economic times but in troubled economic times like these, it has come out in the open to rather prominent notice. This sizable mural is a fine case in point of that.
Regardless, both Jorden and Stack are quite satisfied with the end result.
“More than satisfied!” Stack stated.