Helper by Dan Sawatzky, Chemainus, British Columbia. Painted in 1989, at
225 East Main Street (Millstone Building), 40' by 18'. The family camaraderie
developed on the farm is captured in this local, yet universal, agricultural
theme. The male bonding is particularly emphasized, showing a grandfather,
his son and grandson, who may one day carry on the traditions of the land.
mural was inspired by photos provided by the Shoalts family. It shows three
generations of farmers during a harvest. Grandpa's jug was actually full
of water as he was a diabetic and a preacher. The boy in the picture is
actually my son Peter at the age of six. he is now 14 and helped with the
find mural painting very satisfying because of the memories rekindled and
friendships made while I am in progress. It is a chance for myself, as
an artist, to truly give back to society and reach a great many more people
than with my normal work."
will always b a fond memory because of the warm reception it gave us as
artists. People welcomed us, encouraged us, fed us, helped us, heckled
us and generally made us a part of the community while we created the murals."
Virtual Guide's Comments
generations in the same mural emphasize the thread of agricultural continuity
woven through the history of Welland, and noted in several of the other
murals. Grandfather looks on, perhaps saddened by the fact that the frailty
of old age precludes his helping with the harvest. Continuity is assured,
however, for the future is in the enthusiastic hands of the youngster,
who is anxious to assume his farming heritage despite his tender years.
The photographic realism of the pickup suggests that the future lies here.
The old man and the old way must stand aside.
the Artist: Dan Sawatzky, Chemainus, British Columbia
has been a professional artist for 26 years and is self-taught. He is well
known for his pen and ink drawings and has a way of whimsically fixing
images of our heritage in time. Dan's main objective in his art is preserving
the everyday, humble objects, which are so much a part of our heritage.
can be justifiably called a "marketing man's dream" and his arrival in
Welland provided an extra measure of excitement to attract further attention
to the mural project. He has completed more than 20 murals across North
America. Dan's experience in Chemainus changed his life. He and his family
had intended to use their time there as a kind of working holiday, but
in 1984, they decided to move to the town permanently. Dan soon made his
mark in his adopted community and opened his own "Showcase Gallery." In
1987, he moved into the international market by taking the opportunity
of painting murals in Steubenville, Ohio and Pacific County, Washington
- projects inspired by the Chemainus Festival.
artistic repertoire includes works in egg-tempera and acrylics, and he
has also become involved in producing commercial artwork such as logos,
book covers and airbrush murals.