Selma-based artist unveils Hantsport’s new mural

Ashley Thompson
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Published on December 20, 2013

The Valley Voices serenaded a sizeable crowd gathered for Hantsport’s tree lighting ceremony Dec. 5.

Published on December 20, 2013

Princess Hantsport 2013 Shelby Davis and child attendant Sophie Allen posed for plenty of photos at the tree lighting. 

Published on December 20, 2013

Hantsport Mayor Robbie Zwicker helps town crier Lloyd Smith deliver greetings. 

Published on December 20, 2013

Princess Hantsport 2013 Shelby Davis and child attendant Sophie Allen light the Town of Hantsport’s Christmas tree.

Published on December 20, 2013

Santa visited children lined up on the lawn of the town hall in Hantsport following the tree lighting ceremony Dec. 5. 

Published on December 20, 2013

Jagger Oickle finally comes face to face with Santa after patiently waiting for jolly old Saint Nick to pick him out of the crowd.

Published on December 20, 2013

Santa gives his little pal Jagger Oickle, of Hantsport, a squeeze. 

Published on December 20, 2013

Hantsport’s Jason Tucker performed following the reveal of the Town of Hantsport’s mural. 

There was an exciting twist to the traditional tree lighting ceremony in the Town of Hantsport this year.

Renowned artist Anthony Kawalski, a Selma-based painter with such high profile individuals as the King of Jordan and famed singer Sir Elton John on his client list, unveiled the mural he crafted for the Town of Hantsport after the customary lighting of the town’s Christmas tree the evening of Dec. 5.

Kawalski, who settled in Selma, Hants County in 2008 after experiencing great success inthe United Kingdom, explained the inspiration behind the mural to a rather awestruck looking audience.

“Having been here a few times, I’ve absorbed some of your history, some of your energy and I find that very, very uplifting,” he began.

“The full process that led to this was basically all of you — your history, your past, your present and your future.”

The transportable mural is divided into 18 sections, with each smaller canvas containing either a letter in the word Hantsport, or an icon that is symbolic of the town’s past, present or future.

The anchor speaks to the town’s history, while the grapes, wireless connectivity signal, green-energy light bulb and hot air balloon depict a town with a future full of possibilities.

But it is Kawalski’s interpretation of diversity that makes Hantsport’s mural a most touching sight.

Kawalski had a clear vision in mind when he chose to use all of the colours of the rainbow to spell out Hantsport. He pointed to an icon on the mural that shows white and black stick figures linking hands, then helped his viewers connect the dots.

“The spectrum of people of all colours, all peoples, all persuasion — welcome them all to your town and do it in the spirit of love,” he concluded, directing the audience to the heart icon.

Mayor Robbie Zwicker thanked Kawalski for the artwork, which will be displayed in the town hall and at various locations throughout the Haven of Hospitality.

“This is incredible,” Zwicker said.

Kawalski was asked to paint the mural following an Imagine Hantsport event the 21 Inc. Group hosted at the local fire hall in the summer. The goal of the event was to get a group of enthusiastic individuals with a shared love of Hantsport together to dream up creative solutions to the town’s recent economic woes.

The Hantsport and Area Revitalization Committee (HARC) is working with 12 ideas that were brought forward at Imagine Hantsport. A brief description of the projects that have been identified as possibilities was available for guests visiting the town hall after the tree lighting ceremony.

Some ideas HARC is exploring include: a community cleanup day, seniors’ housing complex, hot air balloon rides, an Awesome Hantsport community-supported project, a café or restaurant in the idled train station building, increased red barn usage, a teen centre, a thinker’s lodge gathering place for professionals, an arts council, a networking group and a focus on filling store fronts.

 

 

Organizations: HARC, 21 Inc. Group, Town of Hantsport Hantsport and Area Revitalization Committee

Geographic location: Hantsport, Jordan, Selma Hants County United Kingdom Town of Hantsport Nova Scotia

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  • Courtney
    December 20, 2013 - 14:05

    It's sad that a mural is the greatest thing to come from the leaders of this town...remind me again how this mural solves the town's economic woes and stabilizes the future of its residents?!