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Wolfville mural brings history and poetry to life

The mural is partly inspired by the town’s history.
The mural is partly inspired by the town’s history. - Wendy Elliott

WOLFVILLE, N. S. -  A mural created to honour the past will be a lasting reminder of the Town of Wolfville’s 125th anniversary.

Halifax brothers Michael and Dan Burt spent four days working on the east side of Herbin Jewellers to create some magic.

The duo took elements from town history and the local environment to create the piece. Inspiration also came from a line of poetry from John Frederic Herbin’s book Marshlands.

“The tide flows out as the day expands,” Michael said, made them think about dawn and dusk. Wolfville’s endangered chimney swift population is central to the design.

The brothers used the existing chimney on the site to show the seasonal winged visitors exiting the nighttime roost.

For the dusk portion of the mural, the Burts painted the old M.V. Kipawo leaving the Wolfville wharf. A moon is rising behind the ferryboat, but the moon is also a clock.

Herbin started selling clocks in Wolfville in 1885. He was once mayor of the town and the founder of the national historic site in Grand Pre.

Peter Herbin and his son, John, who operate the family store, enjoyed watching the mural unfold on the canvas they contributed.

Rafuse Home Hardward donated three gallons of paint toward the town project. The Wolfville 125 committee selected the local iconic images.

Michael Burt and Joe Cook founded the Black Book Collective in 2014. Michael’s experience, he said, has convinced him that art on walls reduces graffiti.

The firm was hired in 2016 to paint a mural in downtown Halifax for the Toronto Raptors. Among other commissions, was a memorial for basketball player Tyler Richards in Mulgrave Park. The arts collective has created mural in clubs, restaurants, gyms, and offices.

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