Local Artist Transforms Community Centre with Vibrant Mural Artwork

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The modest community centre at 471 Hampton Street, situated within the St. James neighbourhood, now boasts a new vivacious personality, gifted by a local mural artist. The walls of the Bord-Aire Community Centre now dance with a vibrant colour scheme, courtesy of Rachel Lancaster, who was commissioned to bring her creative vision to the Centre’s exterior.

Lancaster, a seasoned mural artist, spent three weeks translating her vision onto the building’s facade. The artwork she has brought to life reflects a variety of motifs, spanning across sports, entertainment, and elements of playful whimsy. Elements of hockey, soccer, figure skating twirl across the surface, alongside depictions of candy, oversized balloons and a quaint train car.

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The Centre’s representatives welcomed Lancaster’s distinctive pop-art style with broad-minded enthusiasm. “They permitted my free rein across the theme, simply voicing their appreciation for my work,” recounts Lancaster. A professional mural artist for a decade, she has brought colour and creativity to countless public buildings, private spaces, and domestic interiors.

Lancaster’s art teems with intricate detail that invites a closer look. She emphasises, “There’s so much to imbibe from my work that it could take a while to absorb. It urges one to come closer, to really look.” Her creative process slightly deviates from that of other mural artists; she does not map out a preconceived design. “I prefer engaging directly with the wall, allowing my art to flow unstructured. Whatever transpires, transpires.”

Mirroring reality, the mural wraps around the building on both sides, encapsulating the community centre in its vibrant embrace. Lancaster notes that murals inject a building with deep-seated meaning, likening them to a silent storyteller. “Art has a unique way of uplifting people’s spirits. It casts a new light on a space, enlivens it,” she comments.

She fondly recalls the transformation the community centre underwent due to her artwork. “From an unremarkable white building that lurked unnoticed amidst its surroundings, the centre has now turned into a beacon pulsating with colour within the neighbourhood.”