Perhaps while enjoying an event at the Hall, chasing your kids around the building, or visiting the Community Garden, you’ve noticed this recently installed and engaging art piece adorning the east wall of the Zamboni shed.
Proposed by the Community Garden Committee and funded by a Calgary 2012 Cultural grant, this striking painting was unveiled at the delightful Garden Celebration and blessing held this past May. You may also recognize it as the
unmistakable work of popular Calgary muralist Daniel J. Kirk. If that last name sounds familiar to you, it is because he also happens to be the youngest son of long-time Wildwoodians June and Gordon Kirk.
June and Gordon chose Wildwood as their first home over 30 years ago and cherish it as the foundation of strong community and friendships for their family. June says that Daniel showed an early gift for drawing, starting with creating his own monsters at age three and progressing to an ever-present sketchbook and his “Bruce the Bee” series. He really blossomed, however, when his parents enrolled him in a neighbour’s home art classes. The talented Debbie McIntosh facilitated small groups of drawing lessons for a number of years. Today, June and Gordon are the beaming and incredibly proud parents of a son who is now a professional artist.
Daniel’s upbringing in Wildwood developed his “understanding and idea of community.” Of his Community Garden mural, Daniel explains that the “imagery references the area of Wildwood, Edworthy Park, Lowery Gardens, the Douglas Fir Trail and the Brickburn area. All of these areas have contributed to my sense of ‘place’ in Calgary.”
We are very fortunate Daniel had a window of time to fit the Wildwood mural project into his busy schedule. His familiarity, research and passion for the area are evident, and a perfect fit for the historical intent of the project. The next time you are by the Hall, chasing kids, harvesting vegetables, or heading to the park, we invite you to take in all of the symbolism and beauty Daniel has created. See how many native animals and birds you can identify or which landmarks and relics you have discovered in our neighbourhood. The Historic Wildwood Mural is the essence of wonderful and truly community-created public art!
Watch Daniel’s time-lapse video of the creation of the mural.