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‘Healing energy for all living things’: Syilx artist unveils new mural in Penticton

The mural, completed in 2017, was unveiled during this year’s Ignite the Arts Festival on Main Street
’Healing Energy for All Living Things’ was unveiled in the 300-block of Main Street in Penticton on Saturday, March 25. Syilx artist, Dr. Michelle Jack, designed the concept and helped work on the piece for five days in 2017.

A mural unveiling six years in the making finally came to be in Penticton on Saturday afternoon, March 25.

And for Syilx artist Dr. Michelle Jack, the wait was well worth it.

Jack designed “healing energy for all living things,” an Indigenous mural unveiled during the second annual Ignite the Arts Festival in the 300-block of Main Street by Mike’s Pawnbrokers.

The unveiling was marked a ceremony next to Mike's Pawnbrokers. (Logan Lockhart- Western News)

Jack, along with artists Joseph M. Sanchez, Andre Sutherland Begin, Riley Cleveland, BreAnne Hubick and Csetkwe Megan Fortier, completed work on the piece in five days.

“Syilx artists haven’t really a lot of opportunities to show things in the (Penticton) downtown space,” Jack said. “The last mural, which was actually put up in the 1960s, was only up for a little while and there has not been a mural from our Penticton Indian Band until we made this one in 2017.

“So, it’s very important that many different people got the chance to work on this.”

The piece features a hummingbird, inspired by Jack’s late grandmother, as well as butterflies and dragonflies, which are painted next to the two lakes on the mural.

(Logan Lockhart- Western News)

“The hummingbird has a special meaning for helping to bring peace,” Jack said. “So with the title, healing energy for all living things, we wanted to say it as a prayer for our space and all of the discord that has happened here in this space with our people.”

Jack is credited for coming up with the mural’s concept design, with the aforementioned Sanchez serving as the mentor artist.

Saturday’s unveiling was marked by a ceremony in the 300-block of Main Street, featuring local artists, members of the PIB and leaders from the Penticton Art Gallery.

(Logan Lockhart- Western News)

Dozens of people could be seen crowding next to Mike’s Pawnbrokers to watch the ceremony unfold, around 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The unveiling was part of the Ignite the Arts Festival, which runs until April 2.

Jack’s concept can be seen on the pawn shop’s south wall, in front of the neighbouring parking lot.

READ MORE: ‘No shortage of vibrancy’ at Ignite the Arts Festival’s Walk in Penticton


About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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