Local Artist Erich Stoffels

    The Fernie Arts Station has announced that local artist Erich Stoffels and his design, “All Aboard,” will be the latest addition to the Fernie’s public art. The mural will be installed in the coming months on the North-East facing wall of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 36.

    This mural will serve as a centerpiece in CP Station Square, Fernie’s outdoor venue for events and community gatherings.

    Artist Statement
    I use spray paint, I use brushes, I even use my hands. Whatever it takes to achieve what I’m looking for in my paintings, I’ll try at least once. People have been painting on walls since the dawn of humans. So really, am I just following an instinctual reflex, or is it something else? I believe it’s both, I have a passion for painting that makes me feel like nothing else matters, I submerge myself in my art and the world stands still. Minutes, hours, days, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, I gain immense joy from creating. If even one person finds joy or inspiration in my work, it just makes it all the better. I feel the world is improved when there is art, so just like cave people, I leave my mark everywhere I go.

    I have always loved trains and have always loved painting, so when I heard there was a mural going in at The Station Square, my eyes lit up. My concept titled ‘All Aboard’ incorporates the style of steam engine reminiscent of the ones that would have last chugged through Fernie before they switched to diesel engines in 1951. The train depicted has a typical CPR paint job for that time. The steam in the painting consists of overlapping poppies in a variety of reds, all shaded to appear as though they are flowing out of the train and off the wall. The poppies are to commemorate the men and women that were lost in service to our country. The train itself is, to me, a symbol of this community and all of British Columbia. Without those first steam engines, Fernie would not have been able to grow into the community it is today. They brought people, they brought supplies, and they brought community. They were used to move coal and lumber out of the valley, just like the diesel engines do today.

    The Fernie Mural Project was made possible through grant funding to The Fernie & District Arts Council from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance and the Resort Municipality Initiative, with additional support from Fernie Legion Branch #36.

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