Siding 14 mural adding to downtown beautification

A soon-to-be-complete mural is intended to add some beauty to Ponoka’s downtown core.

Local artist Inge Sybrandi has been busy these past few months after being hired by Siding 14 Gallery to create a memorable mural at its store on 50 Street. Here Sybrandi works on some finer touches Thursday

Local artist Inge Sybrandi has been busy these past few months after being hired by Siding 14 Gallery to create a memorable mural at its store on 50 Street. Here Sybrandi works on some finer touches Thursday

A soon-to-be-complete mural is intended to add some beauty to Ponoka’s downtown core.

Located at Siding 14 Gallery on 50 Street, the mural was commissioned by gallery owner Danny Lineham, who also received special permission for the work by the landlord. Helping them reach a distinct image is local artist Inge Sybrandi. It was important to Lineham to hire a local artist.

In an interview Lineham said they went through the proper steps and applied for a permit, which received no objection. He had several reasons for wanting to have a mural. First was to beautify the building facade. Second was to recognize the history of Ponoka’s train marshalling station called Siding 14 before the town was officially named.

Third: “Hopefully to persuade other people in town to do the same thing,” said Lineham

“There’s so many walls in this town that can have murals on them,” he added.

There are many communities with murals on their walls, explained Lineham, which add to the overall aesthetics of those communities but Ponoka is lacking. Sybrandi was chosen for the job as she completed the mural at the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame at the Calnash Ag Event Centre. After a few drawings and back and forth of ideas, Sybrandi came up with a design that suited what Lineham and the landlord were hoping to see.

“We went through several different ideas of what to put there and finally came up with this.”

“I like how we ended up with the black and white because it’s very sharp looking,” added Sybrandi.

“It’s turning out to be very different,” she said. “I’ve never done an outdoor mural before.”

One of the biggest challenges has been to ensure the paint is lasting and crisp on the stucco walls. Plus the humid weather has created other challenges with the paint not drying fully. Despite these challenges Sybrandi is excited to see the mural taking shape while curious residents check it out. “I’ve really enjoyed the people coming by.”

“It’s been really nice to be out here. People have been stopping and commenting and chatting.”

Painting the mural has also pushed her skills and creativity to new levels. Completion of the mural project is expected to come in September.