Artist Jasyn Lucas giving Boreal Discovery Centre a new coat of paint

Thompson artist Jasyn Lucas is adding another public art piece to his portfolio, since he’s been working on a new outdoor mural to complement the Boreal Discovery Centre’s recently renovated sturgeon exhibit.

While the building’s large ribbed surface does provide a substantial challenge, Lucas told the Thompson Citizen that he’s more than happy to tackle it head on.

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After laying down a primer coat and background art over the weekend, the Indigenous artist was busy July 30 adding details to what will eventually become a giant sturgeon on the building’s east wall.

“It’s just been great,” he said on Tuesday. “I enjoy working on the scaffolding. It keeps you kind of mobile and keeps you balanced. It’s just been fun to do an outdoor project again.” 

Of course, Lucas is no stranger to this kind of exercise, since he’s added some colourful murals to other notable buildings around town, like R.D. Parker Collegiate and the City Centre Mall.

But now, the 40-year-old painter said his artistic process is much more mature and methodical compared to past projects, where his younger self would rush in without much of a plan.

“It’s still going up quite fast but there’s a lot of premeditation,” he said. “So a lot of the work that I haven’t done here [on site] was done at home, just planning in my head, trying to premeditate what each day was going to look like.”

Lucas is also glad to work on something he’s very passionate about, since he’s a big fan of the Boreal Discovery Centre’s youth programming in particular.

“I really like the fact that the centre is for people who may not have the right contacts or accessibility to explore the boreal area safety,” he said. “A place like this really gives people, especially people with disabilities, a chance to really appreciate that … so I think that’s really cool.”

Now that he’s been working on the mural for three full days, Lucas said on Tuesday that he could probably have this project finished by mid-August if the weather is agreeable.

After that, Boreal Discovery Centre vice-chair Penny Byer said their ongoing renovations will continue with the installation of a set of accessibility ramps at the east and west side of the building.

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