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New mural brings abstract touch to Main Street

Another new mural by a local artist has been mounted on Flin Flon’s Main Street.
Artist Mike Spencer poses with the mural he created at Aurora + Pine on Main Street during the piece's unveiling Oct. 12. The piece was coordinated by the Pineroot Mural Festival, which has overseen the creation and mounting of this and four other pieces around Flin Flon.

Another new mural by a local artist has been mounted on Flin Flon’s Main Street.

The piece was unveiled Oct. 12 at its new location, on the patio at Main Street eatery Aurora + Pine, by local artists and leadership. The piece’s creation was overseen by the Pineroot Mural Festival, a group that has been at least partially responsible for at least four other art installations around Flin Flon in recent years.

The piece itself features a mixed colour palette and a variety of shapes, designs and textures in graphic style. It faces south toward Main Street and the Garden of Memory park.

Tim Spencer, the chair for Pineroot, did not have to look far to find the right artist for the new piece - his son Mike, the former curator and gallery manager for the NorVA Centre and frequently an artist and clinician, designed and painted the piece.

Pineroot oversaw the mural of a raven and medicine wheel on the Perimeter, the mural on the side of the heating station on Main Street, the mural piece on Arctic Beverages on Green Street and, most recently, the mural by Tim Dubreuil of Milt’s Sweet Shop on Main Street. The new mural is the second - and final - one to be unveiled through the program this summer.

Mike, who is the artistic and technical advisor for Pineroot, has taken on a creative role with the project so far - he’s been a part of two of the murals so far.

“He’s been a kind of all-around mentor - and I have to say that we needed a mentor, because apart from just admiring murals all the time, I really don’t know that much about making them,” said Tim.

“He’s been a fountain of knowledge and experience with that.”

Mike did not say much at the unveiling about the piece, preferring to let it speak for itself. Tim said that the Pineroot initiative came through with four themes for pieces, the last of which was covered with the new mural.

“As we were learning more about murals and talking about them all the time, I moved towards the idea of four themes for subject matter. Flin Flon’s history was one - the Milt’s mural clearly represents that. We also wanted to have Indigenous imagery and show that culture - the raven and the piece on Arctic Beverages fills that,” said Spencer.

“There was a desire to celebrate our beautiful landscape here, the lakes and the boreal forest and the Canadian Shield. With the fourth area… I’m calling it a blank canvas. It was an opportunity for an artist to make a big work of art with no particular strings attached to it, just to surprise and astound us.”

The piece was funded through a grant from the Northern Neighbours Foundation - the paint and materials for the piece were donated from the Flin Flon McMunn and Yates, while the City of Flin Flon mounted the piece.

In the coming years, Spencer said that other artists may wish to create their own murals in the future and Pineroot wants to support them. Another idea is bringing in mural artists from outside the region to assist local artists through mentorship or clinics.

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