Dawning of a new era

Known for his street art in Finland, Spain and Mexico, a Quebec resident is now in Kelowna showing off his talents.

Dominick Lessard was in Kelowna two years ago when he came upon Milkcrate Records.

“I wanted to paint the wall of their store but the owner of the building wasn’t ready to have it painted,” he said. “This year when I came back there was lots of vandalism on the wall so they were always buffing the walls. So this time they were ready to let me paint.”

Mandira Rajasheker of Milkcrate Records says her boss Richard Rafton had been keen on a mural since Lessard’s first vist.

“He is a big vinyl enthusiast and he loves music so much, but with that he loves art as well,” she explained. “So we had been playing with this idea for a while.”

Rafton gave Lessard free artist reign, but did have the stipulation that the mural must be music related.

“He wanted to bring what’s inside (the store) outside, and that was the idea to draw people in with art and music,” said Rajasheker.

Lessard sketched an idea in just a day according to Rajasheker. He calls his art ‘new school’, with a cartoon look and an Okanagan feel.

Driving across the country with his dog, Yoga, Lessard was on his way to pick fruit in the Okanagan when he stopped in to visit Rafton. The mural depicts a man sleeping in a car near an orchard, something Rafton will soon be doing himself.

“I wanted it to have a punk rock feel, so I did the girl singer who reminds me of Bikini Kill singer, a really strong woman,” he said.

He hopes his mural will discourage graffiti vandals from spray painting the building, but he also thinks his art will be good for Kelowna.

Recently the well-known mural on the Metro Central building was torn down, which Rajasheker says made her sad.

“People in Kelowna should see more art around town, and give people like Dominick more credit,” she said.

She says she hopes this new mural will inspire others to create their own art.

“I can’t wait for everyone to see this wall in Kelowna.”

The Quebec artist expects to be finished Friday, and says he has spent 12 hours a day for the last five days working on the project.

Since he started he has been approached by two downtown business owners who wish to commission him to paint their buildings. Additionally, a building owner in Salmon Arm asked Dominick to bring his art to that community.


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