'Sleet Storm' mural removed by city

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This darker area of the brick exterior is all that remains of the "Sleet Storm" mural which was removed from the Bell Aliant building on Water St., Summerside, Wednesday.

By Brett Poirier

SUMMERISDE - For more than a decade, downtown Summerside commuters had a colourful work of art to gaze at while waiting at the Water and Central Street intersection. Now there's just a brick wall.

The mural entitled, "Sleet Storm," located on the west side of the old Bell Aliant building on Water St., was removed by city crews on Wednesday.

City officials made the decision to remove the mural when debris began to fall from behind the piece.

"The city took it down for public safety," said City of Summerside spokesperson, Lorri Laughlin. "It's a high traffic area with lots of pedestrians walking under it."

The mural, along with four others around the city, were the works of Greg Garand. Theis "Sleet Storm" painting was inspired by a photograph taken in the mid-'50s after a winter storm hit Summerside's downtown strip.

A graduate of the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and Niagara College, Garand has his own art studio in Kensington.

He was aware that this day would come and says it's been nice seeing his work up in such a busy area for so long.

"They all come to an end eventually," he said. "My 14-year-old son grew up with the painting on the building; it will be a change not seeing it there."

The mural took Garand over 350 hours to complete and stood 25 feet high.

An empty brick wall, with the outline of the painting is all that remains.

The city has no plans at this time to put another painting in its place. Garand is hopeful that something will replace it and says that he would definitely consider creating another mural for the city if asked to do so.



Organizations: Ontario College of Art, Toronto and Niagara College, Bell Aliant

Geographic location: Summerside, Central Street, Kensington

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Recent comments

  • dee dee
    January 23, 2013 - 23:37

    p.s it seems the only painting around town that seem to last long is the vandilizing graffiti!!

  • dee dee
    January 23, 2013 - 23:30

    Why didnt the city conact me and get me to spray a clear epoxy / brick/concrete sealer over it,for alot cheaper then putting the mural on or removing it,and it would have lasted longer than the building itself !!!

  • Come Again?
    January 17, 2013 - 17:20

    " lots of pedestrians walking under it"??? What?

  • what?
    January 17, 2013 - 08:07

    Yet another move by the city to destroy any signs of life downtown. How could this be a safety issue for pedestrians? Its suspended over a parking lot, not a sidewalk. What's falling from it , paint chips, pigeon poop ? This makes no sense at all. If the city wants to get rid of something, how about getting rid of some of those incompetent employees who make decisions which destroy whatever character and heritage the city has left.

  • Islander
    January 17, 2013 - 07:54

    Please check your spelling.

  • Lynne
    January 17, 2013 - 07:32

    Although I understand the reasoning behind it, it still saddens me to read this article this morning. I wish I would have known so that I could have taken a picture of the mural before it was erased! I loved that painting and it reminded me of so many stories as told by my pépé... I sure hope that the city puts Garand's talent onto another city building. People visiting Summerside love the paintings and so do the residents.

  • summersidegirl
    January 17, 2013 - 07:21

    Public safety has come first but I must say I loved that mural. It will be different not seeing it there.

  • don allain in toronto
    January 16, 2013 - 20:52

    are they going to put out a public art call for proposals?