The Nelson and District Arts Council (NDAC) partnered with the private building owner at Pharmasave Nelson to bring the work of acclaimed Sinixt artist Ric Gendron into the community.
The new mural was recently completed on the Hall Street side of the building.
Gendron is a “paint slinger” who creates expressive artworks that blend traditional Indigenous imagery with bold colours.
As a member of the Arrow Lakes Band (Sinixt), he establishes expressionist, strikingly colourful images that chronicle his experience, memory, history, journeys and identity.
“Slinging paint keeps a roof over my head and food on my table. It keeps half a gallon of gas in my car nowadays. I’m fortunate enough that I’m able to make a living at something I like to do,” says Gendron.
He draws inspiration from Francis Bacon, Fritz Scholder, T.C Cannon and Harry Fonseca, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hollywood’s Western films, and 1950s and ’60s TV cartoons.
Deeply influenced by the Beat poets and Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, Hunter S. Thompson and other prominent West Coast writers of the 1960s and ’70s, his work also encompasses the rhythms and strategies of traditional Indigenous music and blues, country folk, and rock and roll music.
His work’s themes are the conflicts and challenges of living in different worlds, contemporary experiences and Indigenous identity.