Connecting the bow

In summer 2018 Janel Nail was honoured to be chosen as the lead artist in a large creative public art project hosted by the Bridgeland Riverside Community Association called CONNECTING BACK TO THE BOW.  Janel worked hard to design a mural that would engage, provoke, inspire and connect people and the community of Bridgeland to the majestic Bow River that once flowed alongside this community.

This is the journey of the Bow River and the flora, fauna and human life it meets along the way. The story of the mural follows the epic journey of the Bow River starting at the Bow Glacier in the Rocky Mountains.  It moves through the forested foothills, flowing into the heart of the city and the community of Bridgeland Riverside, twisting its way into the iconic prairies of Alberta.  Although the Bow River continues to flow, the mural completes its journey at the Siksika Nation capturing two aboriginal inspired pieces with the guidance of Dr. Andrew Bear Robe.

Choosing the colour palette for this mural proved to be a huge challenge. After days of brainstorming and dreaming about colours and palettes, Janel came across a rainbow her son had painted. At once, it all made sense! The colours of the rainbow are naturally seen within the changing landcapes in Alberta! It was meant to be!

The colours of the mural follow the natural, beautiful colour progression along the Bow River starting with the purples-blues-greys in the mountains, moving into the blue-greens in the forested foothills and ending with the iconic colours of the prairies; yellow-orange-red. Each mural is painted with analogous colours. (Analogous colors are groups of three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, sharing a common color, with one being the dominant color, which tends to be a primary or secondary color, and a tertiary. Red, orange, and red-orange are examples. ... An analogous color scheme creates a rich, monochromatic look.) ~Wikipedia.

Throughout this 5 month process, Janel designed, planned and organized several public painting events in Bridgeland including the largest event where over 100 volunteers came out to help paint the murals.  It took over 150 volunteers to assist with this extensive mural and Janel appreciated all the help from priming to cutting, painting to sealing and finally installation!  Go check out this public art mural at McDougall-Riverside Park in Bridgeland.


Fun facts

  • 110metres of fence

  • 55 mural pieces

  • 10 gallons of paint

  • 34 colours

  • 125 volunteers

  • 5 months

  • 300+ hours