Dairies by Mike Svob, Coquitlam, British Columbia. Painted in 1990, at
871 Niagara Street North (M.T. Bellies Restaurant), 48' by 10'. The first
of three murals completed in 1990 consists of three aspects of the dairy
industry. The left-hand scene shows a Mr. Bekon peddling bulk milk from
his horse-drawn wagon between 1910 and 1920. The centre scene captures
a school tour of the Elmview milk bottling plant around 1960. The right-hand
scene illustrates one of the last horse-drawn milk wagons from the early
site of this mural brings back memories of ice cream and the passing of
an era. I'm old enough to remember the last horse-drawn dairy wagons and
the horses' flared nostrils blowing foggy breath on cold mornings. My uncle
still has a dairy farm in the Welland area, but the old wagons will always
represent the dairy in my mind. Painting the form and mass of these workhorses
at this scale was a great treat. Mural paint, because its large scale,
allows for greater expression of detail, design elements and colour. You
can do many paintings within paintings. The fact that is is difficult to
visually take in an entire large mural at once allows the artists greater
leeway in putting the elements together to create pathways through the
mural. On smaller pieces, the limits in size and shape make the planning
and execution more constrained."
Virtual Guide's Comments
the artist uses the mural medium to its best advantage in his depiction
of scenes within scenes, a kind of triptych without the borders. Proceeding
left to right in chronological order, we see recognizable faces that add
both reality and a firm connection to the community. A swell, we gain a
sense of historical perspective. The ghostly representation of industry
in the background reminds us of what it is that has historically powered
Welland. The industrial base enabled the people of Welland to buy the milk
that the horses so faithfully delivered. The happy faces of the children
are a manifestation of that connection.
the Artist: Mike (Charles) Svob, Coquitlam, British Columbia
contemporary artist creates captivating imagines in watercolour and acrylic.
Mike was born and raised in Welland and attended Centennial Secondary School.
He sold his first painting at the age of 14. He obtained a general Bachelor
of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario then travelled extensively
before settling in British Columbia. He then took up painting full time.
of workshops, classes and self-analysis has taught Mike to weave his visions
into a wide range of boldly designed and executed pieces. This work has
won him numerous awards and commissions. These awards include first place
in the annual Northwest Watercolour Show in Seattle, Washington and first
prize at the Federation of Canadian Artist Workshop on Saltspring Island,
British Columbia. As a result, his art can be found in dozens of galleries
as well as many private collections.
is proud of being basically self taught "with the help of talented artists"
along the way.