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Welland's Murals:
17. Little Helper

About the Mural
Little 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. 

The Artist's Interpretation
"This 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 mural."

"I 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."

"Welland 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."

Your Virtual Guide's Comments
Three 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.

About the Artist: Dan Sawatzky, Chemainus, British Columbia
Dan 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.

Dan 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.

His 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.

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