Of the City of Grand Forks
1647 Central Avenue
Box 1086
Grand Forks, B.C. V0H 1H0

1-866-442-2833 ~ (250)442-2833 ~ Fax: (250)442-5688
email:[email protected]


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Art as History” is a community sponsored project organized and initiated by the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce.

The series of murals are intended to beautify and enrich the city of Grand Forks for both residents and visitors alike. Each painting is beautiful and unique, showcasing the artistic talent of Grand Forks as well as the unique history found in the area.

The project has been funded by local business and a grant from the Heritage Canada Foundation. All of the artists who have participated have donated of their time as well as their talent.

In the spring of 2005 the murals will be found hung in the downtown of Grand Forks. The hopes for the project are that in future years there will be murals added to the collection and Grand Forks will become known for it’s art and history. The Chamber would like to thank the community, the businesses, the artists and the many individuals who have helped with the project. This has been an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding summer. Thank you Grand Forks.

Below are the murals of the artists who have participated with this project.


Artist Nora Curiston first started visiting family in Grand Forks 17 years ago and soon fell under the spell of “The Little Lazy” a name her husband coined for Grand Forks, the Valleys and the two lovely rivers that run through them. The Kettle runs past their home and its spirit is a frequent presence in her paintings. The train bridge crossing the river from Kettle River Drive to Pope & Talbot was built in the early 1890’s and was a sign of purposeful industry and progress. It soon, however, became a symbol of youth and summer in Grand Forks. From the first brave, chilly spring dive to the last stolen jumps of autumn it has become a symbol of the freedoms of summer in a small town. This little piece of history connects us to the past and into the future Swimmers have been jumping off this bridge for a hundred years and hopefully the next hundred springs will be officially rung in to the sounds of “the first kid in.” Contact: (250) 442-3668 [email protected] Box 194, Grand Forks, BC, V0H 1H0

Brian’s early career involved shows exhibiting his original artwork in Ontario, and later in B.C. Later, he started BEYOND GRAPHIX, teaching himself to paint signs and screen print. Brian has been involved with graphic design, and has published two newspapers, including the OpenMinder (openminder.com), and was the founding director and production manager for the Cannabis Health Journal for it’s first 10 issues. This mural was done using a photo from the Boundary Museum. In order to paint the tones, Brian first had to break up the picture into black and white, and then into three shades of grey, that were then turned into shades of brown. The photo was projected onto the board and traced using pencil, then sign paint was added to complete the mural. Grand Forks was an important railway centre with 5 railways, including two continental lines. The old rail bed now known as the Trans Canada Trail, is used by bikers, hikers and riders throughout the Boundary . Contact: www.openminder.com


April Logan— “Grand Forks Grower Cooperative” April Logan grew up in Midway, B.C and has always been attracted and inspired by the lush landscapes of the Boundary. She learned to express herself through her oil paintings, drawings and other works while at the Kootenay School of Arts. She then moved to attend the Victoria College of Art, where she was inspired and challenged by different mediums, pushing boundaries and discovering new limits. April now lives in Grand Forks where she continues to capture the beauty of the Boundary and express herself through her work. The Grand Forks Grower Cooperative Association, organized in 1916 was just a part of the apple industry in Grand Forks. The Association’s members grew eighteen different varieties of apples and won top awards provincially, federally and internationally. Contact: Phone: 442-0266

Mary Kazakoff, Erika Lippert & Cassie Plotnikoff — “ Journey” Mary, Erika and Cassie are employees of the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information Centre. Erika is the Art as History Coordinator and the Visitor Information Centre has been the project headquarters. The staff decided that it would be fun to complete a work of their own and to participate in this fantastic project. Though none of the staff are formally trained, each is creative in their own way. “It’s been amazing watching this painting, and the entire project come together” says the group. “All of the artists should be proud to be a part of this dynamic project to help beautify and enliven the streets of Grand Forks.” The mural is a patchwork of images and is meant to be a tribute to the hardworking Doukhobor women who played a major part in shaping the land, culture and society in Grand Forks. In the early days women would be out in the fields pulling plows, planting seeds, harvesting crops and cooking and cleaning for their families. The mural depicts the Doukhobor history, from their arrival to Canada to their early days in Saskatchewan to the Doukhobor ladies that are our parents and grandparents.

Wendy has lived in Grand Forks since 1973. Growing up in an art filled home sparked her creativity, and she’s been creating art of all kinds for her whole life. Currently she is working with acrylics, but has experimented with paper mache, masks and acrylic painting on objects. The mural depicts the Black Hawk Livery Stables, a building that escaped the great fires of 1908 in Grand Forks. Wendy referred to historical books and photographs for inspiration on this project and was drawn to the picture’s attractiveness and historical significance. The painting was “ a lot bigger than anything she’s ever done” but she found it to be a lot of fun and enjoyed departing from her usual style. Contact: Phone: (250) 442— 8812

Bonnie Popoff — “Sunflowers” Bonnie first moved to Grand Forks 10 years ago, and has been drawing and painting since childhood. She is a self taught artist who works mostly with water color. “I’ve always been attracted to having lots of bright colors in my paintings” says Bonnie. Along with her art, Bonnie can be found volunteering at the Grand Forks Art Gallery. She is also a member of Boundary Visual Art Group. “Having a chance to do this mural and working with a different medium has been a challenge. Blending and creating colors was a lot of fun, and working on such a large piece has always been a dream of mine,” accounts Bonnie. Sunflowers have long been a symbol of Grand Forks. Like present day, early settlers would grow sunflowers for their seeds and oil, as well as their beauty. “Long ago, as people were eating home-made sunflower seeds they would leave the shells on the hard wood floors. Later, they would walk on the layer of shells to release the oils, once swept away the floors were left with a beautiful shine from the oil.” Interesting and unusual stories like this one , recalling the days and traditions gone by can be heard by talking to the elder Doukhobor people of the area. Contact: Phone: 442-0460

Sherry grew up in the Boundary and has many years of experience behind her. She is not afraid to try new things, to push her abilities farther, and then, in return create more for her clients. Sherry creates permanent and non permanent art work and murals, including window, auto and house murals using acrylic or oil paints. Her mural 'Black Gold' is dedicated to the residents and visitors of Grand Forks, from yesterday and from today. Slag is a by-product left over from the copper smeltering process that took place at the old Granby Smelter. At one time, the Granby Smelter was the largest non-ferrous copper smelter in the British Empire. The 1899 steam engine pictured shows the date, which the Granby smelter was built. Currently slag is used for abrasive products, sandblasting applications, and granules to coat asphalt shingles.  Contact: 250-447-6440 [email protected] http://www.geocities.com/sherrypreston2003/IMCIndex.html

Crystle is currently living in Greenwood, BC. As a painter she is exploring the emotional relationships of colour. “My paintings are impressions of my surroundings inspired by feelings I experience” explains Crystle. Crystle was born in Danshin Village just outside of Grand Forks in 1979. She was always proud of being born in a Doukhobor house but had little knowledge of the people or their past. “Doing research for this mural taught me the rich history, tragedy and strength of the Doukhobor people. I am inspired by their ideals and their trueness to them” Says Crystle. This mural is what she imagines one of the Doukhobor villages in Grand Forks looked like. The squares with images on them are scenes and symbols from the past and present. Contact: [email protected] www.hillfolkart.com

Leta Heiberg was born in Grand Forks and grew up here. During high school Leta demonstrated her talent in art classes and eventually went on to attend the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD). During her time there, Leta discovered her love for landscape paintings, which she continues to do in her spare time. The Grand Forks area was and continues to be home to the Doukhobor community. The Doukhobors believe in a peaceful way of life, and because of these reasons would choose not to eat meat; therefore they relied heavily on growing crops of fruits vegetables and grains. The men and women would work in the fields, hand turning soil, sowing seeds and finally harvesting the crops. In the early 1900s the Doukhobor community owned hundreds of acres of land in the Grand Forks area, where they had orchards, farms and processing facilities for these crops. Contact: Phone: (250) 442-2169

Cathy lives in the mountains above Greenwood. She attended George St. Vanier in the Toronto school of arts as a commercial artist, and now paints signs as part of her living. Cathy also does soapstone carvings. “I love the scenery and history of our local area, it’s my inspiration” says Cathy. Her dream is to use art as a form of worship and therapy working with the young and old alike. The painting is a blend of the history of Grand Forks and the foundation of the Doukhobor people’s faith as the source of what we know as Grand Forks. Grand Forks is home to descendants of many of British Columbia's Doukhobors, a peaceful group of political refugee emigrants from Russia that immigrated to Canada in 1899 and settled in the Grand Forks Valley in 1909. The rich culture of the Doukhobors is still prevalent in the valley. Contact: Phone: (250) 445-2294

Randi DeLisle grew up in Richmond, BC, and has lived in Grand Forks since July, 1972. She is a fibre artist (knitting, weaving and collage), papermaker, bookbinder, woodblock and linocut printmaker, letterpress printer, and publisher. Randi runs a home-based craft and publishing business, pulp fictions & pulp fictions press. This mural was inspired by the early publishers and printers of Grand Forks. F. H. McCarter and his son, George Earl McCarter, arrived in Grand Forks, BC, in 1896. The McCarters began publishing the Grand Forks Miner as a weekly newspaper, with F.H. as publisher, typesetter and pressman, and 21-year-old son Earl as editor. They were relentless in their promotion of Grand Forks as a booming town with a great, rich future, and did their best to convince miners on their way to the Klondike to go via Spokane and Grand Forks. A few pieces of the McCarters’ original metal type, and at least one of their type cases still exist in Grand Forks, in the collection of the artist. Contact: [email protected]

Encouraged by her artistic mother, Anne’s interest in art began early in life. Currently Anne works with conté crayon and water colours, though her first paintings were done using an oil painting kit she was given. Later, Anne took art classes as she earned her teaching degree, and then later she incorporated her artistic talent in her teaching methods. Anne decided that after her retirement she would devote her time to art, so in the past two years, she has done just that – drawing and painting, taking art courses, joining the Boundary Visual Arts group, volunteering at the Grand Forks Art Gallery and displaying and renting some of her art through the Grand Forks Art Gallery.

Anne’s heritage building mural depicts the ‘landmark’ buildings of Grand Forks. She found ideas from the heritage buildings of Grand Forks, historical books and pictures, but mostly she just “woke up one morning, inspired.” “The mural has been challenging, time-consuming, but enjoyable.” says Anne, “I offer the mural to help beautify my hometown of Grand Forks.”

Phone & Fax: (250) 442-5761