Joey Sandberg of the Choice

New mural marks entrance to downtown Cranbrook

Ktunaxa artists add glowing painting to wall of The Choice

Barry Coulter

It’s one of the key wall in downtown Cranbrook, really, and you wouldn’t have given it a second look until recently.

Drive under the arches and into downtown on 9th Avenue, the wall on the west side of the building of The Choice is the dominant edifice on your right. Until recently, it didn’t warrant a second look — a big, plain cinderblock wall, until Joey Sandberg, co-owner of The Choice, started thinking the wall needed a little adornment.

The result is Cranbrook’s recently completed newest mural — a striking stylized horse — courtesy of Patricia Gilhuly and her daughter Lyla Gilhuly.

Patricia Gilhuly, a member of the Ktunaxa Nation and a Ktunaxa commissioned artist, was approached by Sandberg, and chose the image of a horse for the project. Gilhuly — who works in a non-representational, non-landscape style, said she talked about the best image for the image with members of the public and the Ktunaxa Nation.

“I asked around,” she said, “and decided on the image of the horse. “A horse is really important to us (the Ktunaxa) — they work for us, they’re family.”

The project, from start to finish, took 10 design. Patricia did the outlining and design, Lyla did the colour. It now stands big and bold, marking the entrance to downtown Cranbrook.

Patricia added that the project came to be with a lot of community support. Bridge Interior donated the paint, Sandor Rental donated the scissor lift, Columbia Basin Trust provided funding and the Cranbrook Arch Committee donated money and support from Cranbrook Arts and Council.

Patricia and Lyla have also been nominated in the category of the Arts and Cultural for the Kootenay Game Changer Awards — they’re being recognized as an individuals who has moved their community forward through art.

You can check out more about Patricia Gilhuly, a  Ktunaxa Commissioned Artist, on her Facebook page.