Over the next six months Margot Nicolson-Trott, owner of The Georgian Frame Gallery will discus the background of each mural starting with Busy Wagons.
In May of 1998 the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts (BMFA) along with the Town of Collingwood and other interested parties formed the Millennium Mural Committee. Their mission was to select and erect by the year 2000 several murals which would beautify the downtown and represent the culture of the Collingwood area by depicting its history, present and future through private funding.
The first mural erected was Busy Wagons. Located at Second and Hurontario Streets on the side of what is now The Butchers Bistro. The location was chosen because the old building had great visibility and both the wall and the brick were in good shape, and most importantly, the central location. Measuring 12' x 84', the mural has the colour and activity of a busy day on the main street of Collingwood in the early 20th century.
The mural was painted by award winning Toronto artist John Hood, using water based acrylic paint which becomes permanent when set. Busy Wagons is an artistic rendering of the view of downtown Collingwood looking north from the Town Hall including people doing activities of all kinds as well as images of horses, bicyclist and the original grain elevators. Horse drawn wagons and shop windows complete the mural. The artist created sketches for the mural from old archival photographs. "I used the photographs as a point of departure, a reference." said Hood.
The artist created a scaled down painting that when finalized was marked into grids, matching the grids on the wall he then mapped out the images. When the drawing was completed on the wall, Hood then simply filled in the lines with paint.
Sponsored by the Downtown Collingwood Business Association, Busy Wagons was officially unveiled on October 16, 1999 and marked the beginning of several murals to grace the outside walls of Historic Downtown Collingwood.
By Margot Nicolson-Trott,
owner Georgian Frame Gallery