New mural celebrates pets and the joy they bring

Lisa Filiatrault, left, and Gayle Primeau pose in front of the latest downtown mural, which went up at Pawfect Pet Grooming on John Street.

The first mural of 2021 has gone up in Sturgeon Falls, building on last year’s efforts to turn the downtown into a showcase for local artists, spurred on by organizer Gayle Primeau. January 26, a mural painted by Lise Filiatrault of Pawfect Pet Grooming went up on her own shopfront on John Street. Filiatrault took up the challenge a few months ago and combined her love of animals with a clear message to the public: our pets make us better people.

She said her two-panel mural was inspired by her clients, both human and animal. “I always like to keep memories of my clients. I put pictures up, but I wanted to keep memories of paw prints. I have it out there so everyone could see it. I realized how it was bringing everyone closer.” The painting, with a black background resembling a chalkboard, features the paw prints of Filiatrault’s various clients, accompanied by their names. The viewer must get up close to read the names, making the installation a kind of interactive piece. The paw prints and names are enclosed in a long white continuous ribbon drawing various scenes of people with their pets, framing the contents.

Filiatrault said, “I’m not really good at making 3D paintings, and wanted something that would mean something. The continued line shows how everyone is connected.” Inside is a drawing of a hand meeting a paw captioned with the phrase “When I needed your hand you gave me your paw”.  Filiatrault reflected, “I have a lot of seniors [as clients] and their dog brings them outside and [keeps them] socialized and out of depression. The title of the mural is Pawprints to My Heart.”

All the paw prints placed on the canvas are from actual clients, and are done in light-reflective paints. “When lit, it glows in the dark,” described the artist. “I wanted it to be more original so I’m going to add UV lights at night so it will glow in the dark, so when you feel lonely you will always find that paw.” From a distance one might not even realize you are looking at paw prints; they are almost like little flowers on a field of black. Filiatrault feels that her human clients will come by to see it, and it will cheer their hearts.

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