In August 2018, Art in Action, an initiative inspired by the Paisley Community Toolkit, resulted in 5 large murals being painted in public spaces in downtown Paisley, together with 2 donated pianos, and a small retail addition. Local organizations, including the Paisley Chamber of Commerce and Paisley Blues Festival group, in addition the Spruce the Bruce (STB) volunteer group were engaged and fundraising. Regional collaboration saw the support of Grey County artists and residents assist with donations as well as artistic help. Gary Eden, a Grey County artist, was instrumental in the planning process, facilitating two international artists to travel to Paisley. Volunteering was at an all-time high, with lots of new faces from within the community as well as travellers passing through town stopping to lend a hand. The downtown murals were commissioned leveraging funding from organizations across Grey and Bruce Counties and featured both local and international artists. Public spaces were provided for murals, spaces included the municipally owned public library, LCBO/OPP and County owned bridges. Like the flow of their two rivers converging, this community is truly a current contrary to the mainstream. We invite you to visit! Nowhere else will you find as many buildings with impromptu murals, for visitors to discover. Historic buildings majestically line the downtown core and are respectfully hand decorated with bright, energetic colours and up-cycled materials. Paisley is a shining example of a rebirth of rural Ontario, where the past, present and future are part of everyday life. Paisley's elemental connection with the water and its artistic free spirited inhabitants run directly into the downtown and create a unique, downright unconventional community.
Paisley Comes Alive
Visiting artist Libre Gutierrez, of Mexico, created this mural, the first from the Art in Action series. Showcasing local fauna, the fish and heron, the mural represents the beautiful but fragile environment in Paisley (the featured fish Redside Dace is now an endangered species). Elements of Paisley's past are represented by Simon Orchard, Paisley's founder, and the train, which connects us all, from Canada to the artists origin of Mexico, and beyond.
In his second piece for the series, Gutierrez creates a visual story of migration. All living creatures are migrants who carry with them their community, culture and traditions wherever they go. We are all members of a broader community, humanity. Hint This mural is located under the bridge near the Legion and Hose Tower!
Explosion of the Imaginary
Ferreyra's second creation brings vibrancy to the local library, on municipality donated space. This mural is a representation of the feeling that humans have when reading books. The heads of the characters are flowers as a symbol of flowering of the conscience. Everything in this fantasy world works together, allowing the imagination explode in colour and shapes.
Dandelions and Honeybees
In the first mural from a local artist, dandelions and honeybees are featured, calling for a deeper understanding of the need for diversity in ecosystems. The artist highlights her concerns about the common use of pesticides and herbicides to control diversity, often leading to a misunderstanding of many plants that we refer to as weeds and insects that we refer to a pests. In some cultures, weeds are valued due to their nutritional and medicinal characteristics while some insects are valued sources of pollination or protein. Dandelions and honeybees urge us to value diversity.
Great Blue Heron
Tucked into a doorway at the Elora Soap Company, once again Paisley artist Ann Fauchon features local fauna, calling for a deeper understanding of the need for diversity in ecosystems.
Tomboi, the brand, the mural. The Tomboi mural was created to capture the Tomboi essence. Our ideas, Ann Fauchon images …That is "Let Tomboi take you to your "Happy Place". A time in your past when you didn't care about who or what you were or where you played, no thoughts of race, gender, money or faith. A happy time. Hence the image of the Tomboy in the tree. Looking to the furture, major Tomboi, floating in Space, to where? Enjoy Tomboi ice cream … The entire vision captured within thought bubbles of Paisley. The bridge, rivers, farmland, canoes, fishing, Saugie, and a kangaroo … that's the clue … Tomboi, Tomboy with an I … as in the Australian Oi, not unlike the Canadian Eh … translates to Hello, or Hey, … our Tribute to Australia, and our Aussie IceCream man, 30 year international Wine maker … together we found our Happy Place in Paisley … Sit on our bench … take your selfie, Snapchat, or Instagram … let Tomboi take your to our "happy Place".
Teeswater River Bridge Project - Available until end of June 2022
The essence of Paisley in captured with artistic reflections of the confluence of the Teeswater and Saugeen Rivers, which has drawn people here for centuries. Many elements of the surrounding area are encompassed with this project, including granite fieldstone backgrounds, flowing rivers and the art of local students.
Overlooking the Teeswater River just above the Fisher Dam, this tree carved Great Blue Heron majestically guards this private residence. Inspired by the abundance of life in the millpond, Bobbi Switzer combines several species that makes their home in this beautiful environment. Hint find this sculpture on the street behind Bud Rier Chevrolet!
Elements of Power
The first of the large-scale local murals to be painted on privately owned commercial property, was created by vising artist Martin Ferreyra, bown in Argentina, living in Mexico City. The mural brings together with the image of the wolf in representation of the fauna of the area. The depriciton sees the wolf bring fire and wind to an imaginary town that lives in the water. Saugie, a creature of Paisley's local folklore, is seen coming together with creatures to witness this magical event.
Dive Right in (Piano) - Seasonal
Lori's inspiration was drawn from the rivers nearby and her grandson's love of catching frogs.
Believe (Piano) - Seasonal
Believe' was created to remind ourselves that miracles do exist. That every moment in life counts. That sometimes we need to stop and rest in preparation for transformation. And when we listen to our intuitions, it will guide us back home, regardless how far we have gone. Seitz stresses that the Monarchs are an endangered species that require our care and active attention in order to survive. Through the piece, she calls on locals and visitors alike to do their part of support conservation.
River Garbage Can Art
The river creatures of Paisley have come to life on these artistic trash receptacles. Local artists Emile Darlington, Kristina Maus and Cindy McKenna have explored the narual and mythological worlds within the Saugeen and Teeswater Rivers in these works of art. These creatures invite you to deposit thrash here and help preserve their beautiful environment.
Out on a Limb
"Out on a Limb" was created by the grade 7/8 class at Paisley Central School just before they graduated from a school that had been under the threat of closure during their final years there. The piece was created using painted wooden birdhouse kits. Installing the finished mural at the school served as a thank you to all remained a wonderful part of Paisley, the Artistic River Village!
"Songbird" was created by local artist Alicia Mariano after inspired by talented singers and musicians all weekend long at the Paisley Blues festival. The project was put together using leftover paints form various creative endeavors, upcycled plywood and existing posts near Saugeen River Access#10. She hopes many visitors, angles and paddlers will enjoy the piece this season.
"The catch" wasn't a story I set out to tell visually. It was something the unfolded and born; myself as surprised and pleased as the next passerby. I feel like it's one of those relatable images. The boy fishing has caught something. He's reeling in his beg catch. Is it the one that got away? Is in an image of the fantastical river beast? Coming up to steal back his catch, bait of its own? Or is it the boy's imagination; the epic catch he always dreamed of? Is this the one? THE CATCH?! Artist: Candace Connor.
Fish Out Of Water - Seasonal
This collaborative project between the Paisley Artscape Society and the Paisley Branch of the Bruce County Public Library invited artists of all ages to paint a fish and donate it to the community. The result is a school of very colourful fish that now adorn the fences at Mary Cumming Park on Ross Street in Paisley. The playfulness of the fish invites toddlers to come and enjoy some playtime in this lovely park designed specially of young children. The entrance to the park showcases one school of fish while another school faces the dyke for passersby to enjoy as they stroll along the river dyke trails. This seasonal project will be in storage during the winter months.
This piece was inspired by Candace's children and their friends. She asked them, "What do you want to see?" And this is what we came up with. The combination of the magic of a child's mind, the mystery o fi all, and the beauty and wonder of nature. Paisley has an energy, a vibration and when you look without your eyes what do you see? What do you feel? Artist: Candance Connor
Butterfly Flora - Seasonal
Butterfly Flora was created by artist Emilie Darlington in June of 2020. Emilie currently resides and works in Ottawa after growing up in the Paisley area. Her love for Paisley and its local environment is evident in this mural as she incorporates 8 local perennial plants in to this delicate interactive butterfly mural. Take a moment to take your picture with the butterfly and then try to identify the 8 perennial plants found in the mural.
Raft Of Dreams
In 1851, Simon Orchard and Samuel Rowe were the first European settlers to arrive here by raft. They landed at the confluence of the Saugeen and Teeswater Rivers, a mere 150 metres north east of this very location. This mural commemorates and celebrates those first European settlers that built the village we call home. Their guts grit and wild-eyed optimism saw them through years of back breaking labour and hardship.
Take Me To The River
Take Me To The River", otherwise known as the Bottlecap Mural was created by local artist Alicia Mariano to showcase the full spectrum of colour with recycled or upcycled materials. Local families were asked to save the caps from household products and Alicia worked them into the familiar Paisley image of the flowing river set before a beautiful sunrise.
Common blue violet
Kentucky Coffee Tree
Wild blue indigo
The mural was financially supported by the Power Workers Union and members of the Paisley Artscape Society. Appreciation is also extended to the Municipality of Arran-Elderslie.