From the rainbow bench to the parked bicycle to the bagged lunch on a picnic blanket, Gary Nay’s new “Here, For You” mural in Sunny Tsawwassen perfectly encapsulates the beachy community.
Michelle Barlow, the Tsawwassen Business Improvement Association’s executive director, says that she knew just the man for the job to beautify the commercial district of Sunny Tsawwassen and make it more inviting to visitors.
“Gary is a well-known local artist, and his art is full of vibrancy and life. He just brings such detail to his pieces that someone can spend time discovering the different elements within it,” said Barlow.
After commissioning Nay, TBIA’s request for the mural was that the mural represents “the uniqueness of our family-friendly, beachside community”, but without being too “typical.”
The brightly-coloured mural showcases vignettes of Tsawwassen living, says Nay, and includes the Winskill Aquatic and Fitness Centre with a Pride bench outside, two paddle-boarders and a beautiful landscape that transitions from grass to sand to water.
“I think the most important thing is that it makes people happy, especially during a global pandemic, and that’s why it’s colourful and whimsical and there’s nothing too serious about it. It’s just, sort of, a fun look at Tsawwassen that I hope people will find joyful,” says the Tsawwassen-based artist.
After about 40 hours of work thus far, all that remains to be done is painting a black frame around it, which he estimates will take a week or so.
In addition to the buzzing local businesses and shops, adding vibrant public art in the empty spaces is another way to spark creativity and joy in the community, added Barlow.
“Our hope is that our community will explore this piece and connect with the unique details that are represented within our community in Sunny Tsawwassen,” she says.
Personally, her favourite part of the mural is Nay’s depiction of Centennial beach, as it reminds her of all the great times that she and her family have shared there.
“There isn’t a lot of public space in Tsawwassen so when the TBIA wanted to bring a mural to Sunny Tsawwassen we looked to our member property owners to partner with us in this initiative. We were very pleased that the Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall was open to providing us with this unique space, added Barlow.”To check out the “Here, For You” mural, head to the rear parking area at the Tsawwassen Town Centre Mall close to Joe’s Farm Market.