By mural standards, it’s not large but Kris Friesen’s crafty creation on the side of the Osborne Bay Pub Liquor Store in Crofton is big on content.
Friesen, 44, who’s from Esquimalt, completed his masterpiece on various aspects of scenic Crofton off-site and then installed it last Wednesday. There’s also a mythical and magical aspect to the art that requires closer inspection.
Friesen incorporated a mermaid to the underwater portion and even included some clever twists on phrases with some cans of “Killer Ale” with a Killer Whale logo at the bottom of the ocean.
Friesen thoroughly enjoyed working on the two panels that came together on the windows of the expanded liquor store.
The mural took around three to five days to complete. Friesen did considerable research to make sure he got all the components just right.
Passers-by on the streets have been taking notice. As this interview was being conducted, one woman commented “they really brighten up the street. Really lovely.”
That’s been the consensus of everyone to the bright image that captures all things Crofton, including the incredible Osborne Bay Pub music venue, the Crofton-Vesuvius ferry, undersea life and much more, with the notable extras.
Friesen is the same artist who did the piano mural in front of the Chemainus Public Market that took him three weeks to complete because it was more like a sculpture and required more time to figure out how to build it. In fact, that’s how he got the attention of Osborne Bay Pub general manager Patricia Berry and owner Tony Van De Mortel to paint the mural for Crofton.
“It was just like kismet,” said Berry. “I really admire Kris’ natural talent to capture beautiful elements of nature.”
“It’s one of my favourites to do nature and anything oceanic,” noted Friesen.
“It’s my favourite, too,” added Berry. “We barely had to discuss details, the piece just took on a life of its own after one conversation. We had the same vision.”
“Part of the fun for me is trying to figure out how to fit everything in,” Friesen pointed out.
“He just tied everything together so well with the view from Crofton,” praised Berry.
Friesen came back Monday to do a few touch-ups.
The beautiful mural is part of the enhancements to the building and the liquor store expansion for Osborne Bay Pub. The mural was done on dibond aluminum composite panel.
Friesen has been creating wonderful art for 25 years, residing in Edmonton before coming to the Victoria area. Murals are his specialty and his art can be viewed at www.krisfriesen.com.
“It transcends culture, age and gender,” Friesen indicated. “I strive to produce strong art that can be appreciated by all and doesn’t require an elaborate explanation.”
This mural is certainly a big hit in Crofton and throughout the region, judging by all the personal and social media reaction of what a wonderful addition it is to the town.
“All the way from Shawnigan Lake to Ladysmith, people are commenting on it,” said Berry. “We have received hundreds of wonderful positive comments.”
“It’s just nice to hear that reaction,” said Friesen. “It’s smaller, but it really fits the space. It’s the perfect location for that size.”
“I am a huge supporter of the arts in general and am honoured to be able to add something beautiful for everyone local and passing through to enjoy forever,” Berry noted.