Bathurst artists create large mural at seniors home

Bathurst artists create large mural at seniors home

Volunteers from the Bathurst Art Society were approached by Southern Comfort Villa to paint a fireplace scene on a wall of the seniors home last month, but the project inspired the artists to do much, much more.

The group — Priscilla Laffoley, Kevin Harper, Rita May Gates, and Sherley Kenny Brown — visit the home twice a week, for six hours at a time.

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The artists work quietly on the outdoor scene, consulting each other periodically or offering colleagues advice.

"We keep changing things as we go along because we're used to working on smaller canvases," said Bathurst Art Society president Rita May Gates. "This is 22 feet long."

"You have to look at the perspective, and of course sometimes our perspective is not quite right the first time!"

The current mural is the result of nine days of painting 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

"We get a really nice lunch here, which is really great," said Gates.

The group paints all together, each person working on a separate detail. From time to time, someone speaks up, but the room is quiet.

"We don't get in each other's way," said Gates.

The residents of Southern Comfort pass the mural with their walkers and ask the artists questions about the final product.

"They're always coming along and saying 'Oh, you added something else? Where's all the flowers?'" said Gates.

"We're going to do more flowers," she added with a smile.

The mural is expected to be completed in a few months.