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Giant Walkerville Mural Pays Tribute to Famous Windsor-Born Musical Figures

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

DALSON CHEN, WINDSOR STAR

Published on: November 15, 2016 | Last Updated: November 15, 2016 8:18 PM EDT

Music was on the mind of Windsor mural artist Briana (Athena) Benore when she conceived and completed her latest project: A giant painting on the side of the Cool 100.7 FM building in Walkerville.

“It’s the biggest I’ve ever worked on,” said Benore. “The biggest yet.”

Measuring 70 feet across and 50 feet high, the mural is Benore’s most ambitious work to date. Creating it required more than 300 cans of spray paint and the use of an aerial work platform.

Benore was commissioned for the project by the owners of 2090 Wyandotte St. E. It took her nearly two months — from early September to late October — to finish it.

In recognition of the building being home to a radio station, Benore wanted to pay tribute to famous Windsor-born musical figures. The mural includes portraits of Stuart Chatwood, Jeff Martin, and Jeff Burrows of rock trio The Tea Party; pop-country singer Shania Twain; electronic music artist Richie Hawtin; and R&B singer Tamia Hill.

The lower portion of the mural is dominated by a depiction of local radio legend Rosalie Trombley. “She was a powerhouse disc jockey,” Benore said. “We decided to put her in the forefront.”

Windsor residents may recognize Benore’s style from two other prominent and colourful murals she completed earlier this year as part of the Art Attack Windsor initiative: one at 343 Wyandotte St. W., and another in the downtown core, at the intersection of Ouellette Avenue and Park Street.

Despite Benore’s experience with murals, working on her latest was a learning adventure. For example, it was her first time utilizing a “cherry picker” lift — she’d previously depended on scaffolding.

“There was a gentleman by the name of Jerry from LSI (Lift Services Inc.),” Benore said. “Great guy. He came and gave me a crash course. I had to just go up there with him and learn the controls.”

Buckets upon buckets of primer and multiple paint shipments were necessary, with total paint costs estimated at more than $2,000.

Benore said she’s thankful the weather was very co-operative throughout the project: Windsor’s unseasonably warm temperatures this fall saved her from frozen fingers.

“It was good faith that kept me going to the end,” she said. “I believed in this great opportunity that was given to me.”

Celebrate Briana (Athena) Benore‘s new mural at The Soul of Art & Music event on Saturday night at Carrots n’ Dates (2090 Wyandotte St. E.) in Walkerville. Enjoy the new menu and liquor licence at Carrots n’ Dates, as well as groovy live music by Soul Brother Stef. Starts 8 p.m. Visit athena.design for more about Benore and her work.

dchen@postmedia.com