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Windsor Mural Artist Adds Musical Colour to West End

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

DALSON CHEN, WINDSOR STAR

Published on: May 30, 2017 | Last Updated: May 30, 2017 8:45 AM EDT

Olde Sandwich Towne just got a bit more colourful — thanks to the latest large-scale piece by Windsor mural artist Briana (Athena) Benore.

Her new wall-sized mural — finished on Sunday after about two weeks of work — overlooks the patio of the Dominion House tavern (3140 Sandwich St.) and is visible to westbound traffic entering the neighbourhood.

“I wanted it to be colourful. I wanted it be bright and eye-catching,” Benore said. “When people are driving by, I hope it sets them up for their day.”

The mural measures 15 feet high and 60 feet wide (900 square feet), and took about 200 cans of spray paint to complete.

Dominion House owner Chris Mickle commissioned Benore for the piece, specifically asking her to create a giant version of a tribute portrait of Prince that she had painted on canvas after the musician’s death last year.

Keeping with the musical icon theme, Benore added portraits of Aretha Franklin and Gord Downie.

Why Aretha Franklin? “She’s the Queen of Soul,” explained Benore. “I love Aretha. She’s groovy, she’s passionate. She sings about love, and I’m just a lover.”

Franklin’s image is also meant to pay tribute to Motown history, just across the river.

Lastly, Benore chose Gord Downie because of The Tragically Hip’s farewell show in Kingston in August 2016. She used a photo reference of Downie in costume for the concert.

“He’s heroic, in my eyes. He’s an amazing poet and musician. I was very touched by his story, with him fighting cancer. His last performance got me a bit choked up,” Benore said.

The Dominion House piece is only the most recent in a growing list of Benore’s work in highly-visible places across the city. In November 2016, she finished a 50-foot-tall tributeto Windsor radio on the side of the COOL 100.7 FM building in Walkerville.

Last summer, Benore covered the side of a building at the corner of Park Street and Ouellette Avenue in downtown Windsor, and the side of a food bank building on Wyandotte Street East.

Other examples of her work can be found on the Walkerville Tavern and the staircase of Higher Limits.

Benore said she’s already making preparations for other murals this summer. She’s planning her next one for a location in central Windsor, on Tecumseh Road East near Central Avenue.

In the meantime, you can find her hosting monthly paint nights at Windsor’s Mezzo Ristorante and doing art-related volunteer work.

Benore said it “means the world” to her to decorate and beautify her city. “I hope I can have a good impact on people with my art.”

dchen@postmedia.com