New Grand Forks mural causes a stir at the Aquatic Center
Renowned mural artist Paul Archer has completed the incredible interior north wall transformation of the Grand Forks Aquatic Center for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB).
The large-scale painting of former colleague and local swimming legend James Dergousoff is a fitting tribute to the Olympic hopeful’s athleticism and determination as he competes on the world stage.
With this latest addition, Archer is now responsible for more than 80 murals in Grand Forks alone – more than Chemainus, the mural capital of British Columbia.
His latest portrait shows James in action during the series of trials leading up to this year’s FINA World Championships in Budapest as part of Canada’s Senior National Swimming Team.
Achieving the motion and movement of the water splashes was “the toughest, toughest, most enjoyable part of the process,” says Archer, who used four colors of latex paint and high-flow acrylics. just to master its white cap, its waterfalls, its fountains, its bubbles. and splashes.
James is currently preparing to represent Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK (July 28-August 8). He grew up training at the Aquatic Center as part of the Grand Forks Piranhas Swim Club, has a close affinity with RDKB staff as a former fitness instructor and lifeguard, and will provide years of inspiration to young people swimming in its wake.
Working through the night and beyond, Archer created the giant swimming action filmed over a period of five days with his service dog Lannah who is always close to the artist when he has his airbrush gun in hand . The pair, used to forming an attentive crowd and even queuing around their workspace, captivated a young audience who watched the artist’s magic unfold poolside after practicing their own kind of strokes in the water.
“Archer has the most incredible life story, the coolest career and is so talented. He was the perfect choice for our mural project and we are very lucky he accepted it,” says Melina Van Hoogevest , recreation supervisor with the RDKB Grand Forks Recreation Department.
“We’ll be watching James closely at the Commonwealth Games to see if he can break that minute in the 100 breaststroke. Whatever the outcome, we can’t wait for him to visit us in early August to see what happens at the pool where his aquatic dreams began.
Although Archer’s father fears he will never make a living as an artist, ‘every day is an adventure’ for the self-proclaimed ‘Anglo Saxon freak show & his dog’, who has worked for some of the most big brands and showbiz names. to create Instagram-worthy content worldwide. Wherever he goes, people love to watch and as “the Universe always provides it”, one job has always led to the next effortlessly.
During his colorful career, Archer turned down Disney (twice), drew the dead (he always uses a funeral car to transport his materials); Britney Spears took her Burmese python on stage and after he was stabbed, the mugshot he fired at his attacker led to an arrest.
He has created outdoor concert stage sets for Black Sabbath, Lady Gaga, Metallica, Alice Cooper and most recently, Snoop Dog. As the only large-scale brush artist in the Caribbean, a six-week project there turned into a 6-and-a-half-year stint where he became a tourist attraction in his own right as he burned images of music icons in Hard Rock Café bar tops.
“I’m still in this place,” Archer says, describing the moment he was asked to look after Tony Hawke and the Jackass crew when they arrived for work at a 50,000 square foot skate park on which he worked in the Cayman Islands. . Unfortunately, on this occasion, he missed the opportunity to do a private commission for Bam Margera when the shorts he had written his number on got lost in a hurricane.
Locally, Archer’s scope of work includes the Davis Building and Cannafest. He hopes to leave a lasting mark for Greenwood’s 125th anniversary, and a Canadian and American tour to honor Aboriginal burials is also in the works.
To fund the mural project, RDKB-funded sponsorship was received from a local supporter, Dr. Mark Szynkaruk.
For swimming-specific coverage and features, visit the Swimming Canada website and social media platforms: https://www.swimming.ca/en/
In Canada, full coverage of the Commonwealth Games is provided by CBC. James will compete in the 100 breaststroke on race day 2 (Saturday July 30) and the 50 breaststroke (race day 4, Monday August 1):
CBC Sports to Provide Exclusive Canadian Broadcast and Streaming of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, July 28-August 8 | Commonwealth Sport Canada
Photo caption: Archer and his sidekick Lannah, an 8-year-old cross between a Mini Schnauzer and a Chinese Creston.