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Botwood using murals to show its history

A street art exhibition was held during Botwood’s Flying Boat Festival earlier this month.
A street art exhibition was held during Botwood’s Flying Boat Festival earlier this month. - Contributed

When the Botwood Mural Arts Society started some nine years ago, their goal was to complete one mural a year. 
Seeing the large pieces of outdoor art as a way to tell the story of the central Newfoundland community, the society aimed to create world class murals. 
“We were hoping to build a new tourism economy for Botwood,” society chairperson Trudy Stuckless told The Central Voice.
This effort to make Botwood a provincial destination for street artists and art aficionados alike exploded when the town hosted the 2018 Global Mural Arts and Tourism Conference.  
Then, through the work of artists like Charles Johnston, Gander artist Melissa Francis and others, Botwood was able to add five murals in one year. The latest one debuted in the last couple of weeks. 
Still, the society wanted to bring something new to the table. It was suggested they try to entice some street artists to come do a small exhibition during the Flying Boat Festival leading into Botwood Day on Aug. 5. 
Along with Francis and Botwood native Marshall Borland, seven artists were tasked with showcasing their unique brand of art on the backs of the longtime festival booths. 
While they could do as they please artistically, the artists had one thing they had to adhere too. 
Their pieces had to have an aviation theme to them, fitting with the history of Botwood.
“It went really well,” said Stuckless. “There were people who came out and sat on lawn chairs to watch them paint.” 
Next summer marks Come Home Year in the community of Botwood.
With that in mind, the society is hoping to march out three new murals that will focus on the town’s history in aviation and the Beothuk. 
Encouraged by the work done by the street artists this summer, Stuckless said the society is also considering holding a street arts festival that would resemble a buskers gathering but with more focus on painting.  
“It is all still linked to the story of Botwood,” she said. 

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