Two local artists set their brushes on the walls of a restaurant opening soon in Salmon Arm.
Rebecca Shepherd and Roxi Hermsen have formed a mural painting and workshop teaching business called RnR Murals. Last week, the pair finished their most recent project, livening up the walls of the North Vietnamese restaurant soon to open in Salmon Arm, Hanoi 36.
The artistic duo learned about the project from Facebook and reached out to the owner of Hanoi 36, Michael Vu. Vu gave them a few photos of classic North Vietnamese scenery and they set to work. After three weeks, the white walls were transformed into glimpses of the country’s past, with Vietnamese women dressed in traditional clothing and Hanoian streets lined with shops and food vendors.
From the outset, both artists wanted to work collaboratively and use each other’s skills for the betterment of their art.
“There’s no ego in this; this was a job to make a space really good so it’s not like this is mine or this is hers, and that was actually our whole concept of getting together,” Hermsen said.
Although the artists drew some inspiration from the photographs, artistic licence was taken and their painting methods changed to match what the art needed.
“These aren’t in our styles but we’re artists so we just brought our skills to a style that was required – but we needed to make them painty.” Shepherd said. “We didn’t want to follow someone else’s photograph, it was enough to just get direction on what buildings look like there and the clothing from the time period.”
This is not the first project Shepherd and Hermsen have completed together. Before starting on the murals in Hanoi 36, the pair had been in Grenada painting the walls of an elementary school. While ther,e Hermsen noticed the children were aching for something to play with during recess as the school had no funding for a playground. So, with their paint brushes, the help of a few friends and a generous heap of creativity, a playground was painted on the pavement of the courtyard.
Shepherd and Hermsen have plans to set up a boutique studio in the fall at the Downtown Activity Centre.