The Telegram (St. John's)
Artist Julie Lewis selected to create Great Fire mural
In continuation with the commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the Great Fire of 1892, which burned two-thirds of the city, the City of St. John’s has selected local artist Julie Lewis to paint a mural on Mcbride’s Hill.
The commemorative mural is part of mural a program that has been in place in the city for the past 10 years and has been responsible for numerous murals painted throughout the city.
“We felt that this huge wall — here at Mcbride’s Hill — would be a wonderful opportunity for an artist to put forth some wonderful artistic abilities and some thought into the history of that fire,” says Coun. Sandy Hickman.
Support for the mural is being provided through arts council grants and Harbourside Concerts as well as Benjamin Moore and the Paint Shop.
A committee composed of city councillors and arts co-ordinators selected Lewis based upon her previous accomplishments and the design she submitted for the mural.
“The main inspiration for this mural obviously started from the colours of the fire, so keeping in mind that we have people coming past this way at all times — four seasons of the year — we’re trying to draw attention to exactly how much of the city did burn,” Lewis says.
The mural — which depicts the burning city in shades of red, pink and yellow, as seen from across the harbour — will also include a legend for passersby to try to discover where the fire started.
Lewis relied heavily on photos from the city archives in creating her design for the mural and the work of J.M.W. Turner to understand what epic scenes look like in flames to find the balance between art and reality.
Lewis hopes to begin work on the mural as soon as possible and expects to complete the work within a month and a half of commencing, weather permitting.