Sunday, April 08, 2012

Sarnia's Murals

It's been a little while since I have been on a day-long photo trip with my pals John Baird and Marc Akemann, and yesterday, we traveled to Port Huron and then over the bridge to Sarnia, Ontario. It's been at least 6 years since I have been to Canada, which is way too long, considering it's only an hour away if I go to Windsor. I have crossed the Bluewater Bridge several times before, but I was always on the way to somewhere else, so this was my first visit to the city of Sarnia. We had a beautiful day, with not a cloud in the sky. The downtown has a lot of interesting arty shops and galleries, as well as some indoor flea markets and antique stores. Oh yes, there are also plenty of bars. However, what caught my interest was all of the different walls that had murals of some sort painted on them. I have previously mentioned some of the murals I saw on a trip to Ohio last fall, but the walls in Sarnia are more with a united theme of the early days of Sarnia, as far as I can tell. In addition to my fascination with the backsides of buildings, which I have also blogged about, the murals transform what are usually drab and uninteresting expanses of concrete block or brick into expressive and interesting focal points. Sometimes they can be done with the intent of trompe l'oeil, which in the case of some of the scenes in Sarnia, are nearly that, but with the added historical theme. In other cases, they can be part of a store or eatery to help advertise their services.

I am impressed by this one. The actual mural is much larger, extending to the left with additional text.

This wall is next to the Sarnia Historical Museum. The planes are not well-rendered, but it does draw your attention. What amazed me was the relative lack of graffiti around town. Some difference from Ann Arbor.

These next few are all at the back of the flea market and other adjacent businesses. Very unified depiction of an earlier time.

This one is on a private residence, but it appears to keep the same theme.

I think this one in an alleyway, is my favorite. Sorta 1970s.

This one incorporates the Bluewater Bridge in a striking graphic design.

Last one. This looked like a good place to have a beer!

It would be nice to go back again on a summer day and have the time to explore a bit more. This is what I like about these road trips. When I go without any specific agenda, I see more and love being surprised by things that demand that I photograph them.

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