The Town of Kensington, through its 2014 Planning Committee has commissioned three murals to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the Town. Two of the murals have been conceptually planned by the Committee; the third mural has been left to the interpretation of the creator of the murals, local Kensington artist, Anne Gallant.
The project was one of the ideas brainstormed by the 2014 Planning Committee in 2012. The Committee applied to Heritage Canada’s Community Anniversary fund for financial assistance on the project, and subsequently received approval shortly thereafter.
The Committee issued a Request for Expression of Interest for the Provision of a Centennial Mural to artists in the area. The project was awarded to Anne in December of 2013. The Committee are very excited to have her on board.
About the Artist
Anne grew up on a farm in PEI, and attended Evangeline High School. She has studied Arts History at Mount Allison University in Sackville NB, Graphic Design at George Brown College of Art in Toronto, and studied watercolour and oil painting at Buckhorn Gallery in Ontario. She is fluent in English and French, and speaks Spanish and Haitian Creole after five years working in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
She was the subject of a 1998 CBC documentary on her Petroglyph artwork and a Featured Artist on a CBC radio program in 2004. She has had several solo exhibits in the Maritimes, including “Ancient Connections”, “Echoes” and “Journey to Ancient Africa”. Anne opened an art gallery in Kensington in 2007, and paints original paintings, cards and calendars. She offers art classes year round, across PEI, for all levels.
About the Murals
There will be three 4 x 4 murals that will transform old black and white photos with full color, to bring the history of Kensington alive.
The first mural will feature the Kensington Train Station, with the focal point being the activity surrounding the station. Mural Two will depict a streetscape of Kensington, to portray business and commerce and more generally the way of life the year the town was incorporated.
The third mural has been left to the interpretation of the artist. The 2014 Planning Committee decided to leave the concept of the last mural to the artist, and let her express what 2014 means to her. When the murals are unveiled in May 2014, the third mural will be a surprise to everyone but the artist.
Watch the Progress
If you stroll down Broadway Street in Kensington in the next few months, stop at 59 Broadway to take a look at the progress – Anne welcomes the input and feedback of residents. Anne says, “What makes this project even more special is that I am painting their history and their input is crucial for me to be able to create a realistic picture of Kensington in 1914. I have a light that comes on from dusk until about ten or eleven o’clock at night, which will highlight the murals every evening. People are welcome to come in to see it up close and to give their comments.”
The research and planning is being conducted this month, by talking to residents, consulting local publications, and gathering old photos. By mid-February, the planning and sketching should be complete, and then the painting will start and continue until April. The Murals will be unveiled after the Old Time Parade on Saturday, May 24, 2014. The final location of the murals will be determined as the project progresses.
Stay tuned for more information on the unveiling in May 2014, or stop by the studio at 59 Broadway Street in Kensington to watch the progress.