Recently a mural was created at The Bar Wellness and Fitness building by local artist Kevin Johnson.
The mural shows two great blue herons in front of a pink and purple landscape, which was inspired by Johnson’s youth growing up near a large wetland.
Johnson grew up in Olds and lived here for 20 years, before leaving for 10 years. He's been back for four years.
“The inspiration is from growing up in Alberta just outside of town by a large wetland, experiencing a lot of natural things and all kinds of wetland creatures," said Johnson.
Johnson’s approach wasn’t to create a realistic depiction of the creatures in the mural but to do something more abstract and expressive.
The mural on The Bar took three days of work to complete. Johnson thinks that public art like he’s done can have a positive influence on youth.
“Anything that’s put in the public realm -- whether you love it or hate it -- it’s in space and you can react to it. And I think for young people, it’s a good avenue of allowance that you can do that too; especially seeing somebody local.
“I think that it’s easy to identify with somebody that grew up in your town and went through the same trials and tribulations that you did; seeing somebody making it happen and making it work and showing that it’s possible,” said Johnson.
This might not be the only mural that we see Johnson do in town, as prior to his interview with the Albertan, he was trying to set up his next public art project.
“I just got off the phone with somebody on the Uptowne Olds committee. They’re looking to possibly extend that mural onto the north wall of the Olds Liquor Store,” Johnson said.