To anyone who has watched artist Luke Ramsey paint the first section of the mural at the Jack Wallace Memorial Track, it might surprise them that he doesn’t have the whole piece mapped out.
Ramsey started the mural last week and is about a third of the way through a the 6,250 square foot wall that is the back side of the Oak Bay Public Works building behind Oak Bay High.
“Everyday is a new day, it’s all freestyle,” Ramsey said. “I have a concept in mind but I don’t know what the end result is going to be. Each character is born each each day when I go up on the wall. It’s exciting because I don’t know what is going to show up.”
Prior to Ramsey’s contract, Oak Bay gathered community input and ideas on what people would like to see on the wall.
Ramsey looked at those suggestions, and is able to extrapolate from it all, he said.
“I came up with the concept of a parade of musicians,” Ramsey said. “The characters are expressing athletic sensibilities, and there is a marching band practice here that goes around the track. So I wanted to create this dynamic of marching band characters.”
It works as a way to capture and represent the diversity of the community, he added.
“We each have our own personalities and as a whole are the community. And [these characters] are all walking in the same direction, moving forward.”
Oak Bay Parks, Recreation and Culture and the Oak Bay Community Artists Society partnered to create the mural and hire Luke Ramsey, who has done several of the most notable murals in town.
This project was made possible through support from the estate of Maria and Paul Sarvari, the CRD Arts Development Service, Oak Bay Community Artists Society and paint sponsor, Dulux. The mural is expected to take approximately one month to complete
Ramsey was the first City of Victoria artist in resident from 2016 to 2018 and has been commissioned by The New York Times, The Cartoon Network, Patagonia, The BC Children’s Hospital and more.
Ramsey says he is about one week through a three week time frame and plans to be completed in October.