Earlier this summer, five artists submitted mural proposals in response to the town of Smiths Falls’ plan to create an Artscape Parkette on the corner of Russell Street and Beckwith Street. The submitted proposals were placed on the Speak Up, Smiths Falls platform for public consideration, and the public responded.
During Monday evening’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Julia Crowder, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism, presented the results of the survey. “The public feedback was very positive,” she said, “with 1304 responses.” Councilor Wendy Alford commented that she had never seen such a large number of respondents on a town survey.
Thirty-three percent of respondents voted in favour of the art submitted by Dominic Laporte, which is a mural featuring florals, a train, the train station, and the town’s iconic water tower.
Councilor Chris McGuire objected to the focal image in the proposed mural, a train of oil tankers being pulled by a large engine. “To me, this looks like a big billboard for CP Rail.”
Crowder noted that the Evaluation Committee had requested the removal of the CP logo for the actual mural, and added that Laporte was very open to suggestions.
The Russell Street Parkette project will breathe fresh life into a tired corner of Smiths Falls, with the addition of fresh cement, benches, plant boxes, and an enormous mural along the side of Shoppers Drug Mart. The cost, approximately $98 000, is funded by a provincial grant called My Main Street; the grant covers the full cost of the project including the mural’s installation.
The installation of the mural is planned for September 13-14, 2022.