Spring is here and it’s time to put up some more murals. This week three new murals by the same artist went up on the south wall of the King of Queens Cannabis store at the corner of Main and Queen Streets. The artist, 18-year-old Veronica Demciuch, is not new to murals – the halls of her secondary school, Franco-Cité, are already graced with two of her works. Now she has ventured into the arena of street art, partnering with Gayle Primeau’s downtown mural project, an ongoing enterprise where artists across West Nipissing have contributed to elevating the arts in the public domain.
Veronica is all about flowers this time around; the three paintings use three different palettes, totally distinct from each other, but each having a floral element. “It’s more like flower sceneries on all three,” she says. “It’s not all combined together; three separate scenes – but they have elements that link to each other. The middle one has the sky, the sun and the clouds that kind of blend into the two others.”
The scenes are primarily landscapes. “On each one I tried to incorporate some sort of flower. On the first one there are swans, the lake shore and two blossom trees. Then to the centre is a lavender field and it has two people, so it’s kind of like a portrait, but it’s also a landscape. The third one is just like a nice flower garden.”
Veronica’s inspiration comes from her background, her history. “I got a lot of inspiration from nature, the beauty of it. I tried to do European-style painting on one [of the three] because I have a lot of European roots – so I try to incorporate that into it, and I just kind of like flowers. I mean, who doesn’t love flowers? And it’s something pretty we can look at every day.” Veronica did not complicate her artistic aspirations for these murals – she simply wants people to have a pleasant experience, to have something nice to see while traveling through town.
Asked about her background Veronica shares, “Right now I’m in my 12th grade of high school. I go to Franco. My parents, they immigrated from Poland, so Polish has been my first language, and I travel a lot. My grandparents, all my family is from there.” Veronica was born in the United States, in Illinois, but her parents moved to Canada when she was 5. The family resides in Sturgeon Falls. Veronica is fluent in three languages – Polish, her mother-tongue, French and English. When asked what she means about being “European-inspired” and what the major differences are about, it goes back to the scenery. “It’s like lavender fields, or tulip fields. We don’t have those here. Gayle [Primeau] and I talked over how the lavender feels, [how one of the paintings looks like Switzerland] where she went traveling, and we just sort of discussed those ideas. So it’s just something different and not what we see ordinarily here.”