Red Deer faces could soon decorate the museum’s exterior: Happy birthday Canada!

Photographer Tim Van Horn’s mosaics could be come a local fixture if grant is found

The faces of thousands of city residents could soon decorate an exterior wall of the Red Deer museum.

The museum is applying for $40,000 from the Canada 150 Fund, meant for projects commemorating Canada’s milestone birthday in 2017. The money would finance six large photographic mosaics by Red Deer artist Tim Van Horn and their installation on the south side of the building, facing Heritage Square.

Each of the 10-foot-square murals would be made up of tiny photo portraits. About 3,000 people from Red Deer have already been photographed for Van Horn’s Red Deer Mosaic Project, which also involves head shots of people from across the country.

See related story: Massive mural project

Since one of the six museum murals will be made up of local faces, he invites anyone else interested in representing “the Red Deer spirit” to come to the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery for a “massive fun, outdoor Red Deer Mosaic photo shoot on Family Day, Feb. 20th.

City residents are encouraged to “come show Canada who you are!”

The head shots will be arranged, according to their contrasting backgrounds, to create a large maple leaf, a deer’s head, and other “iconic” motifs that fit with our Canadian and Central Albertan identities, said Lorna Johnson, the museum’s executive-director.

“It’ll be very impressive.”

Johnson believes adding art installations by a home-grown photographer are a great way to mark Canada 150 birthday. “It captures a moment in time and is about who we are.”

While Van Horn has been taking pictures across Canada for the last decade to create a massive Canadian flag mosaic that he intends to install in Ottawa for the 2017 Canada Day celebrations, he considers it an honour to have a permanent art installation at his hometown museum.

The murals, he believes, “will unite and provide a contemporary portrayal (0f) who we, the people of Canada, are in our country’s evolution…(leaving) a beautiful, lasting visual legacy to be enjoyed and discovered by viewers for years to come.”

Johnson hopes to hear about her grant application early in 2017. If the requested money isn’t provided, she plans to look for other funding sources, since she believes Van Horn’s project is worth pursuing.

An exhibit of the local photographer’s work will be held at the museum in the spring.

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