For the opening of Boarder X, local artists Mike Valcourt, Kenneth Lavallee, and Peatr Thomas collaborated to create a colorful and powerful floor mural for boarders to skate on and guests to gaze down upon. The mural presented an assemblage of diverse styles and narratives from Peatr’s sasquatch snow mountain scapes flowing into water, to Mike’s abstracted woodland-style turtle on a skateboard, to Kenneth’s inter-generational portrayal of three lineages passing knowledge onto the next – it all fits together as one.
Mike Valcourt was encouraged by friends and family to start painting at a young age. He made smaller commissioned work for businesses and organizations that were familiar with his enthusiasm before he knew he wanted to be an artist. Mike describes his art as thoughtful and precise. He is influenced by the Woodlands style of art, maintaining its narrative, sometimes derivative, yet contemporary quality. Jackson Beardy is a great source of inspiration and vision for his work. “My hope is to continue learning and sharing, as long as both are purpose and motivation in my life. After all, art is easy – it is people that are difficult.” –Mike Valcourt
Kenneth Lavallee is a Winnipeg born artist, alumnus of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Primarily through the use of painting, drawing, and silkscreen, Kenneth produces personal work embracing traditional ideas of balance, interdependence and order in nature – the cosmos, both aesthetically and thematically.
Peatr Thomas was raised on his father's and mother's First Nations Reserves; Bloodvein and Cross Lake, Manitoba. Entering into his high school years, he moved to Winnipeg. Not knowing anyone, Peatr spent more time working on his artistic side, and as time went on he attracted people who were also in touch with their artistic talents. Gaining attention from event organizers and well-known local artists through mutual friends, Peatr then first began taking part in art shows in 2008. Staying in touch with his First Nation roots, and adapted urban life, he continues to experiment and work with different styles of artwork.
The WAG acknowledges the support of Graffiti Art Programming, specifically Pat Lazo who organized a space in the GAP gallery for the floor mural to be painted by the artists. Thank you to GAP gallery staff who came out and painted VANS shoes and helped others paint.