Artists Derek and Kyle Simmers, who were raised in Bashaw, have been hired by the Bashaw Historical Society to rehabilitate the over thirty-year-old mural at the arena. (Photos submitted)

Artists Derek and Kyle Simmers, who were raised in Bashaw, have been hired by the Bashaw Historical Society to rehabilitate the over thirty-year-old mural at the arena. (Photos submitted)

Locally raised artists rehabilitating a piece of Bashaw history

Siblings Kyle and Derek Simmers grew up in Bashaw

  • Jul. 15, 2021 11:30 a.m.

By Kevin J. Sabo black press news media

A pair of artists with deep roots in the community are working on rehabilitating a piece of Bashaw’s history.

Siblings Kyle and Derek Simmers, who both grew up in the community, have been contracted by the Bashaw Historical Society (BHS) to refresh the mural on the west-facing wall of the arena.

“(The mural) represents the heritage around Bashaw, the people that brought Bashaw on the scene,” said BHS member Glen Weins.

“It was painted in 1987 by Mr. (Dave) More, and has stood-up quite well, (but) it is starting to deteriorate. It was brought up a year or two ago that it needed to be refinished.”

The rehabilitation project was started at the end of June, however so far it has been slow going due to the weather. First the heat caused problems, then the rain.

“We had a little bit of interruption with the weather last week,” said Kyle.

“On those really hot days we weren’t really able to paint. Anything above 30 degrees (Celsius) and the paint won’t adhere properly, so we ended up taking a bit of time off.”

Even with the delays, the pair is optimistic the project will be completed by mid-July.

Kyle has a connection to the original artist as well. More was one of Kyle’s teachers at Red Deer College in 2011.

“Dave More taught me my first painting class back at RDC in 2011,” said Kyle.

“I still had his contact information and got his blessing to recover the work. I was also able to get his help with the original line drawings and photographic slides of the original work.”

The plan is for the pair to keep the mural as close to original as possible, although they did say they added some of their own flourishes to the work.

“Given that it is for the (Bashaw Historical Society), we are trying to hit pretty close to the original,” said Kyle.

“But, I think, we can’t help but invest ourselves in in it, potentially by adding clouds to the sky, or other little elements that would be our own addition to the project.”

The recovery of this mural will be the eighth project that pair have worked on, their first one being completed in the summer of 2014.

“(Our first mural) was also painted in Bashaw, at the United Church,” said Kyle.

Both brothers have been through art school and work in a variety of roles over and above doing murals.

Kyle keeps busy working full-time as an illustrator, working on a graphic novel series entitled “Pass Me By,” as well as doing a variety of other freelance art projects for various clients.

Derek does murals and works as a freelance illustrator as well, though has begun doing design-based community work as well, mainly focusing around public art.