Local Artist Transforms Maintenance Garage with Inspiring Mural

Angus H. Campbell, a proud Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) citizen and talented mural artist, has brought new life to the community's maintenance garage with a powerful and uplifting mural. The concept behind the mural is to celebrate the vital role of NCN youth in the community and to promote unity and harmony among them.

Previously, the maintenance garage was marred by profanity and gang-related graffiti, which had been a divisive force among the local youth. However, Campbell's striking mural now stands as a symbol of hope and solidarity, aiming to inspire the community's young people to come together as proud NCN citizens.

When asked about the inspiration behind the mural, Campbell explained that the goal was to bridge the gaps among the community's youth, who were previously separated by the divisive graffiti. "We wanted to have a mural that would unify the community," he said. The mural features the number 313, representing the band number of Nelson House, as well as two teepees on each side of a lake, symbolizing the NCN people living in harmony despite being separated by water.

Campbell, a seasoned artist with over 30 years of experience, has a diverse portfolio that includes murals in high schools, community spaces, and even the glow-in-the-dark mural at the Thompson bowling alley. Despite his extensive experience, Campbell continues to hone his skills and recently pursued an illustration degree to further develop his visual storytelling abilities.

The impactful mural serves as a testament to the transformative power of art and the unwavering spirit of the NCN community in Nelson House. Through Campbell's artistry, the maintenance garage has been reborn as a vibrant symbol of unity and pride for the entire community.

The mural has garnered widespread praise from community members, especially the youth, who see it as a reflection of their identity and a source of inspiration for a brighter future. "When our youth see this incredible artwork, they will visualize and thus manifest a beautiful and vibrant future as depicted in the mural," said community member; Tarra Rymer

The positive impact of the mural extends beyond the visual representation, as it has sparked conversations and initiatives aimed at empowering and supporting the NCN youth. The mural has become a focal point for community gatherings and discussions, providing a platform for fostering understanding and unity.

Looking ahead, Campbell remains dedicated to using his art as a catalyst for positive change and empowerment within the NCN community. His passion for storytelling through visual art continues to inspire and uplift those around him, leaving a lasting impression on the community and beyond.

~Matthias J. Johnson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Thompson Citizen. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Matthias Johnson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thompson Citizen