Artist paints Richmond Hill’s iconic landmarks
Steve Betterton’s love letter to the city now displayed in York Medical Centre
Visitors are taking note of a colourful new mural celebrating Richmond Hill that has appeared in the York Medical Centre. The piece, which is inspired by both graffiti art and traditional landscape painting, is the work of former Richmond Hill resident Steve Betterton.
Depicting many of Richmond Hill’s most iconic landmarks, Betterton was commissioned by building owner Jonathan Tekala, who had grown sick of looking at a large white wall.
“I wanted to fill the space that wouldn’t be boring for the clinic’s visitors,” said Tekala. “And I am very happy to hear that it is starting to receive visitors of its own.”
Betterton was delighted by the idea of working on the mural, as he credits the city that helped reawaken his passion for painting.
As a teenager, Betterton had wanted to become a professional artist. After spending a year studying art at Sheridan College, Betterton let his doubts catch up with him and embarked on a diploma program — and then a career — in marketing.
Betterton was inspired to pursue a career in fine art after moving to Richmond Hill with his wife in 2010.
“I really didn’t know what to expect when we arrived, but then I learned just how many community activities there are here,” he said.
“I joined in on the hockey at Elvis Stojko Arena and began taking painting lessons at the Mill Pond Gallery.”
In a nod to his own past, Betterton included both the ice rink and the art gallery among the 30 or so buildings depicted in the mural. Also included is a technically impressive depiction of the Richmond Hill Hindu Temple.
“I always used to drive past the temple on my way to work. When deciding which buildings should be featured, I knew I had to include it.”
Although Betterton still considers art to be more of a hobby than a second career, his mural has begun to generate some local buzz about his talents.
“I don’t know if I will ever have enough work to be able to support myself on art alone,” he said. “But perhaps one day.”
L–R: Steve Betterton etching the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, detail of his finished mural