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Third outdoor mural completed in a month in Innisfail

Local artist Karen Scarlett creates 95 foot wide by 12-foot-high mural called Ed the Dragonfly
Innisfail artist and muralist Karen Scarlett finishes her Ed the Dragonfly mural in mid-October on the east wall of the old TNT building in the historical block of downtown Innisfail. She said she wants to complete another 146 murals for the community. Johnnie Bachusky/MVP Staff

INNISFAIL – There is now another giant outdoor mural in town.

It is the third colossal piece of public art created in Innisfail in just over a month.

It is located on the east wall of the old downtown TNT building, now the home of the Direct Value Innisfail business, and facing the west wall of the former Collective House store, which is adorned with a fading Main Street 1909 mural that was created in 2000.

The area in between is a small outdoor mall, recognized by some as Town Beginnings Mall.

Local artist Karen, who recently completed the 2,300 square-foot poppy mural on three exterior sides of the Innisfail Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 104 building, immediately decided to take on another project when she found out there was still $900 left from Town of Innisfail grant money for 2023.

That amount was less than what she applied for but enough to buy the paint for the idea she had in my mind.

“I've always thought this wall looked like a mess and I've always wanted to paint it,” she said.

Her latest creation, which she calls Ed the Dragonfly, took just a week to finish in early October.

But it is artistically impressive and measures a whopping 95-feet wide by 12-feet high.

And it’s a project that competes well in size to the massive three-sided new mural at the legion and the recently completed Spotted Eagle Teachings public art piece on the east wall of the historic Century Theatre building that was created by homegrown indigenous artist Ryan Jason Allen Willert.

The Spotted Eagle Teachings mural measures 75-feet wide by 20-feet high.

Scarlett’s Ed the Dragonfly comes to life in a spot that has had a history of neglect and vandalism.

However, she believes there’s been a turnaround of attitude, and that graffiti taggers will leave the space alone.

She points out lights have been installed at Town Beginnings Mall.

“It's super cute. You'll have to tell people to come down and see it because it's this nice little glowing area,” said Scarlett, adding that while the outdoor mall has experienced a dozen of so tagging events in the past she’s not worried about the future. “What's nice about this town is that the murals that have come up have not been touched. We have murals that are 30 years old that haven't been touched. It's a really good sign.”

In the meantime, the success of new outdoor public art in town this year has inspired her to continue with even more murals.

In fact, she said with complete seriousness that her goal is to create another 146 outdoor murals for the town.

“I want to activate this town and turn it into a mural site,” said Scarlett. “Can you imagine the economic development that would create with tourism?

“This town, if you look around, is so clean. It's very well taken care of. And it's got a whole bunch of naked canvases just screaming at me.”

Johnnie Bachusky

About the Author: Johnnie Bachusky

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