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Welland's Murals:
6. Lift Bridges

About the Mural
Lift Bridges by Greg Garand, Toronto, Ontario. Painted in 1988 at 31 West Main Street (facing Niagara Street), 64' by 15'. Prior to the completion of the Welland Canal bypass in 1973 to the east of the city, ships from around the world passed through the heart of Welland, navigating in what today is a recreational waterway. Lift bridges connecting the east and west sides of Welland were raised to allow the huge ships to pass through.

The Artist's Interpretation
"After having spent a good part of my childhood along the banks of the old Welland Canal, it has become part of a series of memorable scenes and situations. This particular scene is ships in the evening when they seemingly glide through the canal with a ghostly appearance, after the city has calmed. The mural was an expression of the mood created when ships passed at dusk. Mural painting requires an artist to be more organized. The process takes longer, from the time the 'big picture" is analyzed and problems worked out from a distance, to the time the paint is brushed on the mural. Spontaneity is obstructed. Noise, traffic, fluctuating light, the immediate environment in general is an element the artist has to deal with, as opposed to studio painting where there is a controlled environment."

Your Virtual Guide's Comments
This is another depiction of the recurring theme of the serenity associated with night passages on the canal. The painter gives us an impressionistic rendition of the clouds and the forest. The result is to capture the surreal ambiance of ships travelling at night in a way that would have been lost in a photographic rendering.

About the Artist: Greg Garand, Toronto, Ontario
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, Greg Garand was born in Welland and attended Confederation High School. He studied art fundamentals at Sheridan College and silk screening and drawing at Niagara College. He now works as a freelance designer and illustrator.

Greg commented "I always dabbled in painting and drawing, but it wasn't until 1982 that I dedicated myself to an artistic career." He is used to working on smaller jobs such as magazine covers and editorial illustrations but tackled his first mural in Welland with excitement and enthusiasm. Greg has also worked as a carpenter.

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