People who don’t volunteer or spend much time at the Salvation Army drop-in Centre are getting to know the facility through Art Walk this summer.
About 70 people have already had their passports stamped at the Salvation Army Drop-in Centre which features the work of artist Alfred Wilson.
He was born and raised in Toronto but as a labourer in the construction trades has travelled across Canada four times over the years working on various construction projects.
While some of that work has been painting houses and buildings, Wilson says his first love has always been painting pictures, something he started to do when he was just eight years old.
“My dad was a Dutch painter and I learned from him and just kept going,” Wilson said. He adds that he paints his scenes and animals from memory, drawing inspiration from nature and animals he has seen in his travels.
“I was born into this world poor and I am still poor hence this is the reason why I am in the starving artist category,” Wilson explains in his biography.
“My paintings are done in acrylics, oils or water-colours. I do almost anythingwith paint. I even do wall paintings in bedrooms and living rooms. I paint from mountains to flowers, quite a range of work.
His love for mural painting is also evident as soon as you open the door to the Salvation Army Church and head down the stairs to the drop-in centre to see his paintings.
In repainting the foyer he added a beautiful mural of a rustic fence with sunflowers and other flowers growing around it.
You might miss it coming in but coming back up the stairs look up and you will see it.
Mayor Walt Cobb who had his Art Walk passport stamped at the Salvation Army Wednesday said he is halfway through the Art Walk and is determined to visit all 63 businesses hosting artists this year because he really wants to have the optimum chance for winning the Prosperity Bear sculpture created by Spirit Carver Dean Ross that is this year’s grand draw prize.
Arty the Artwalker is happy to see the Salvation Army participating in the Art Walk to help people learn about the services the church provides for people in need and create greater understanding and community togetherness.
This is Wilson’s first show and says he will be painting at the drop-in centre during the art walk and invites people to come in and watch him paint, have a coffee, chat and get to know the centre.