Over the Labour Day long weekend Nanaimo artist and VIU graphic design instructor Sebastian Abboud and some friends painted murals on the back walls of the Lantzville Boys and Girls Club. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Artist paints mural behind Lantzville Boys and Girls Club

Last year Sebastian Abboud, with friends and family, completed the artwork over Labour Day weekend

A local artist has given the Lantzville Boys and Girls Club a makeover.

Over the Labour Day long weekend, artist and VIU graphic design instructor Sebastian Abboud put the finishing touches on a mural covering the back walls of the Lantzville branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island. He was assisted on Saturday by his wife Maxine Matishak and friends Mauro Dalla Costa and Maillen Garcia.

The mural features brightly coloured images evoking nature and outdoor activities and covers an older mural depicting flowers that the club had wanted to replace for some time.

“One of the things we were looking at doing was updating the mural in the back because the last time it was painted it was about 20 years ago and it was looking quite old and tired,” said Renee Bohun, BGCCVI resource development and communications manager.

Bohun had heard that Abboud was looking for mural-painting opportunities and reached out to him earlier this summer. They said the project came together quickly after that.

Abboud said the club gave him “a complete blank slate” to work with and Bohun said as soon as she saw his designs she knew they were “perfect” for the club.

“I just came up with some fun and kid-friendly art work that I thought would bring a nice touch of brightness to this area because there are a lot of brown and a lot of beige tones,” Abboud said, gesturing at his surroundings. “So it’s nice that we could bring a pop of colour to this.”

This is Abboud’s second mural after painting a portion of the A&B Sound building exterior last summer. He said he forgot how time consuming and paint consuming the process could be, but he wasn’t alone.

Through the Boys and Girls Club, Abboud received a donation of $1,000 in paint and supplies from Home Depot, Bohun said. She added that RBC is one of the organization’s national partners and the bank also provided $1,000 in the form of a community grant donation as well as a team of volunteers to help prime the wall for painting.

“It’s been a wonderful experience of people coming together to make the space more pleasurable and interesting for the children,” Bohun said.

Abboud said he enjoys working with community groups and that as long as the materials are accounted for, “I’m happy to donate my time.” He said he hopes his mural lasts a long time and inspires children to be active.

“I was trying to make a fun place to play, basically that’s the idea,” Abboud said of the mural. “I want them to come out here and be stoked.”

Abboud continues to display his work indoors as well. This Friday, Sept. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. is the opening reception for his new show, Wingin’ It, at the White Rabbit, 321 Selby St. The exhibition continues until Oct. 4.

WHAT’S ON … Mural Celebration at the Lantzville Boys and Girls Club, 7-7221 Lantzville Rd., on Tuesday, Sept. 10 starting at 5 p.m. All welcome.


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