Public art has grown in Vegreville and the latest addition has been completed.
Edmonton-based artist Josh Harnack’s mural pays homage to Vegreville’s Ukrainian culture. The installment was added to the ‘Ceramic Cottage’ and ‘Framed Custom Framing’ building located at 5017-50 Street in downtown.
“In essence, my mural concept showcases a motanka doll guiding an elk through the prairies,” Harnack said in a press release.
“To dive a little deeper, the motanka doll in this mural not only symbolizes Vegreville’s Ukrainian Heritage but also as a protector of the land and its inhabitants, particularly the elk. In Albertan aboriginal culture the elk is not only a good omen but is a survivor and protector as well.
“The two walking peacefully together symbolize a larger and more contemporary meaning of future prosperity and the shared responsibility of taking care of the land in which both humanity and nature need to survive. The Elk’s antlers boast the ribbons of the vinook, similar to the ones in the motanka doll, symbolizing the acceptance and welcoming of culture. To add to this, the background of the mural serves as a Ukrainian flag, symbolizing land and sky.”
Harnack was commissioned by the Vegreville Tourism Advisory Board in 2021 after a successful conceptual pitch in the board’s ‘Call to Artists’.
This is the fourth installment in the Vegreville Tourism Advisory Board’s ‘Paint the Town’ initiative and brings the total number of public art murals in Vegreville to eleven.
The mural concepts began in 2019.