Kentville Mural Festival
July 19-21, 2024

The Kentville Business Community’s fourth annual #weARTkentville Kentville Mural Festival aims to…

  • Offer a family-friendly, safe, outdoor, community event;
  • Tell our diverse stories and perspectives through visual art;
  • Leave a legacy of art and beautification in the Town of Kentville;
  • Bring attention and awareness to local businesses and public spaces by attracting visitors to town.

The purpose of the #weartkentville Mural Festival is to celebrate our arts community, bolster community pride, and deepen our collective understandings of cultural and individual perspectives in the region through the creation of murals in the Town of Kentville.

About the Project:

  • The Mural Festival is organized by Kentville Business Community, with support from the Town of Kentville and Tides Contemporary Art Gallery
  • There will be four murals created on local business owner’s exterior wall surfaces
  • Thanks to our generous sponsors, artists are be provided:
    • A fee for the murals, depending on the size
    • Costs of paint, supplies, equipment, scaffolding, etc. will be covered

Have Questions?

Contact info@kentvillebusiness.ca

We now have a virtual mural map that will take you on a self-directed art walk around the Town of Kentville! Visit kentvillemurals.ca to check it out!

#weArtkentville Festival Murals

Artist: Andrea Manica
Site: 379 Main Street
Title: Meeting Place
Year: 2023

Artist Statement: This piece shows the vibrancy of Centre Square. Blossoms and pumpkins represent the Apple Blossom and Harvest Festivals that take place in Kentville each year. The Square hosts musical jam nights and dog training sessions, which bring people (and pets) together. A table full of fresh market produce sits in the middle of the mural, as the square hosts farmers markets weekly. I wanted my piece to highlight how a dedicated public space can enrich and strengthen community.

Artists: Carolyn Mallory, Mark McCrone, Peter Gordon, Bob Hainstock, José Urbay (Tides Contemporary Art Gallery collective)
Site: 401 Main Street
Title: The Way We Were
Year: 2023

Artist Statement: At the dawn of the twentieth century, although the first car was developed in 1886, there were mostly carriages and horses on Nova Scotia dirt roads. In our very own community of Kentville, the Nova Scotia Carriage Company was on Cornwallis Street in 1868. In the late 1890s, the company was operating at a loss making only 120 vehicles in a year. Things turned around when the company incorporated in 1898 and both manufacturing and sales rose. By 1907, the company had 34 different models of carriages in its catalogue. It was a tumultuous history with the rise of the automobile, but even under different ownership, the company added cars to its manufacturing, and flourished for a few more years adding over 100 more models of carriages and sleighs to their repertoire, along with 12 different models of cars. With the beginning of the First World War, the downturn in the economy, and an expansion move to Amherst, the company failed to thrive and ended its run in 1914. This piece of history is inspiration for our mural concept, showcasing an important moment in Kentville’s history. Kentville was a place of innovation, creativity, manufacturing, and advertising prowess. Even before the McKay brothers took over the company, it was known for its quality workmanship—a history to be proud of.

Artist: Rachel Anzalone
Site: 395 Main Street
Title: Whispers in the Marsh
Year: 2023

Artist Statement: While on a walk one evening, and curious to find another entrance to the Harvest Moon Trail, I unexpectedly came across a herd of deer. They stood on a grassy field cautiously observing the landscape. Before I took another step, they scattered very quickly and dispersed into the brush. Deer are my whispers of home. They reflect and resemble subtle memories of where I came from.

Artist: Andrea Manica
Site: At the Belcher and Cornwallis intersection
Title: Trail Cycle
Year: 2023

Artist Statement: A bicyclist travels in a green area which reflects the surrounding space, and the trails along Miner’s Marsh. A large bird population gathers at the Marsh, too. Colourful circles on the sides of the box are an abstract representation of paths and continuing cycles of nature.

Artist: Andrea Manica
Site: Barricades next to Fire Hall
Title: Flora
Year: 2023

Artist Statement: I sought inspiration from vintage Romanian tapestries for this mural. This is an ode to my family, as my Romanian grandparents and father immigrated to Canada and lived on the East Coast for many years before moving to Ontario. It is also fitting that these barricades sit adjacent to a hockey arena as my father is a huge hockey fan, and so was my grandfather.

Artist: Jason Skinner with Crypt and Stella
Mural Site: 395 Main Street
Title: Community Crossing
Year: 2022

Artist Statement: Against a pastel background, with an exaggerated bright pallet, and loose brushwork, Community Crossing depicts local wildlife interacting as they cross the span of the mural. The micro interactions between the various species depicted, reflects the same small acts we do to connect with one another in our community that make it a positive, supporting and compassionate place to live. Two Canada geese casually talking about the weather, a coyote making sure the fox is crossing safely and a black bear overseeing it all are some of the animals you see.

Artist: Justin Fraser-Fong
Mural Site: 245 Main Street
Title: Lost Dominion
Year: 2022

Artist Statement: The old Dominion Atlantic Railway system reminds me of stories my mother and her sister would tell me about travelling from Yarmouth to Halifax. The stories glorified the journey with epic tales of laughing, playing cards and sharing memories on the coach car. I remember hearing about days stopping in Kenville for shopping, going out to dinner, and having drinks. The tales highlighted how special and essential the railway was in connecting us as Nova Scotians, bringing us in and out of Kentville. There is something powerful about the train – the engine car commands respect in its ability to power a community of travelers.

Artists: Mural collaboration by Cameryn Mattie, Sarah Mosher, Monique Silver, Don (Byrd) Awalt and people from the surrounding community
Mural Site: 26 Aberdeen (behind T.A.N. Coffee)
Title: Asoqmapskiajk
Year: 2022

Artist Statement: We are reflecting on the land Asoqmapskiajk (Kentville, Acadie) resides on. The ecology of the land continues to play an integral role in the growth of Valley communities. With this in mind, our mural highlights native plants in the area at a large scale. These medicinal, wild plants of Mi’kma’ki symbolize sustenance, prosperity and coming together as a community. Our mural depicts Malteweknejkl (Bloodroot), Wataptek lketu (yellow mushroom), Mikoqewik (Northern Pitcher Plant), and Msiku Nipik Wataptek Wasuek (Grass Leaved Goldenrod). We are so thankful for the Mi’kmaq language research of Don (Byrd) Awalt, giving the gift of language visibility and accessibility.

The beautifully winding Abiskaq Sibou (Cornwallis River, Riviere des Habitants) is the centerpiece of the Valley. The river represents farming and the sustenance of the community which are resurging in importance especially due to our current ecological crisis. The river connects us to the past, present and future.
In Asoqmapskiajk we celebrate local language and culture, community connection to the land, and how the land takes care of us across generations.

This mural stands in Asoqmapskiajk, Mi’kma’ki, on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. This territory is covered by the Peace and Friendship Treaties that the Wabanaki People (Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki, and Penobscot) signed with the British Crown. These treaties did not deal with the surrender of land and resources but recognized the Mi’kmaq
title and established the rules for the relationship between the parties. These rules still govern how we are to treat each other today. Everyone on this land is covered under these treaties, and it is for this reason we say we are all Treaty People, with a responsibility to respect and uphold these inherent rights. We are so grateful to live, work and learn on this territory.

Artists: Jaimie & Aaron Peerless
Mural Site: 373 Main Street
Title: An Artistic Visionary
Year: 2022

Artist statement: My artistic connection to this community started back in the 90’s when this whimsical fellow started painting murals around the town. I grew up admiring him and always wanted to have the opportunity to tell stories and create artwork for others to appreciate. Little did I know that 30 years later I would be doing just that, and in my hometown no less!

Years ago, Matthew had murals throughout the Annapolis Valley and beyond. He was a very well-known and respected artist who started painting murals around the communities as a way to spread joy through public art. The self-portrait located on this site was one the last remaining mural and was practically faded away from the brick wall.  After receiving special permission to paint over the old mural, I thought it was only fitting to create a mural which would honour this great man. Hopefully this piece will inspire a new generation to do what they love and embrace who they are. Matthew told me a few weeks ago that not a lot of people get the privilege of living their truth, and that artists are lucky.  Thank you Matthew Cupido for being the gentle breeze that patiently blew a seed through time which grew into this very mural festival.

Artists: Kristen DePalma
Mural Site: 54 Webster Street (around back)
Title: There’s No Place Like Kentville
Year: 2022

Artist Statement: Exploring the small towns of Nova Scotia is one of my favourite things to do – there is something unique about every single one, and that always traces back to the people that live there. Kentville’s connected community contributes to a special sense of place where both residents and visitors feel at home. I want to bring this pride in place to life with a mural that makes people feel connected to Kentville and where they are at that present moment. For fun – see if you can find all the nods to The Wizard of Oz reference hidden in the mural!

Photo credit: Aperture 16 Photography

Artist: Sarah Cannon
Mural Site: 17 Leverett Ave.
Title: Duck Marsh
Year: 2021

Artist Statement: Duck Marsh depicts a Blue and Green Winged Teal duck in a marsh surrounded by blue joint and spike rush plants. The concept is inspired by a hike at the Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Kentville. Specifically, the work draws from the delight I experienced learning about new types of duck species that pass through the sanctuary. Duck Marsh examines how curiosity and exploration of nature contributes to cultivating positive mental health and well-being.

Photo credit: Aperture 16 Photography

Artist: Paloma Dawkins
Mural Site: 373 Main Street
Title: A New Wave
Year: 2021

Artist Statement: I hope that we all reemerge from this pandemic with a renewed sense of hope and clarity, and that is what the water means to me. Nova Scotia has some of the most beautiful Oceanscapes I’ve ever seen and being close to the ocean this year was very healing during isolation. Every wave brings opportunities for cleansing and every tide brings new treasures to the beach!

Photo credit: Ryan Roberts

Artist: Celine Gabrielle
Mural Site: 366 Main Street
Title: Sassy Pants
Year: 2021

Artist Statement: I believe the clothes we wear are a part of our stories. One of my personal role models and style icons is my mom who grew up just around the corner on Highland Avenue.

One Saturday morning in the sixties she went to class at Acadia University in a beautifully tailored pantsuit. It was her way to express her feminist rights for equality. Her professor was not amused, made it clear that there was no place for women’s liberation in that class and threw her out! But that didn’t stop my mom from wearing beautifully tailored pantsuits—or being her own woman.

Photo credit: Aperture 16 Photography

Artist: Jaimie Peerless
Mural Site: 325 Main Street (behind the building)
Title: A Daughter of Our Community
Year: 2021

Artist Statement: This art is meant to honour the life of Theresa McAuley Robinson who was murdered by her husband in 1904. The image depicts the beautiful apple orchards in Burlington which was so near and dear to her heart. Theresa was a writer for the local paper; the ripped section is symbolic of her life transforming into a tragic story that marks the pages she once wrote.

As the story goes, Theresa was married and had several children with her first husband. One day he got very sick and knew that his days were numbered. Back then, a woman was prohibited to own property, so the sick man asked the assistance of a friend to help him find a solution for his wife so that she would not lose the farm in his absence. The friend set him up with his younger brother, William Robinson, who agreed to terms of the contract. This man became very abusive in nature once married to Theresa. A dispute between one of Theresa’s sons ended up in an assault charge where Theresa was called to testify. A few short days after her testimony, the house was set on fire and her charred remains were found dismembered inside.

The trial was held in Kentville’s newly-built courthouse which was the first courthouse in Nova Scotia to have electricity at the time. It was a fantastic case for its time, not only because of the horrific nature of the crime, but also because of the rage from the local community that demanded justice. William could not escape his transgressions with his smooth tongue and brute intimidation; he was sentenced to death July 27 and hung a few feet away from this mural on September 11, 1904. Mr. Robinson was the last person to be hanged in Kentville.

Photo credit: Ryan Roberts

Artist: Lorne Julien
Mural Site: 381 Main Street
Title: Family Resurgence
Year: 2021

Artist Statement: I am a Mi’kmaq artist. The concept of the mural includes many elements that tell a story, the story of my people, my story. The orange colour is honouring residential school survivors and all the children who lost their lives. This is the story of all indigenous people in Canada – all our families have been touched. The eagles represent love, the first of the seven sacred teachings. It talks about the strength and protection of family and the need to keep them together and to heal with love.
It also shows the medicine wheel which holds many sacred teachings and the embedded double curved design representing the Mi’kmaq people.


Photo credit: Aperture 16 Photography

Artist: Ellen Cere
Mural Site: Kentville Memorial Pool, 125 Park Street
Title: Micro(eco)systems
Year: 2021

Artist Statement: Nature plays a fundamental role in everyone’s story. This is a collage of various overlooked elements from our natural community. A diverse ecosystem is the richest.

Have Questions?

Contact info@kentvillebusiness.ca