Le Cadeaux du Cheval ~ The Horse Gift Mural ~Completed!
A mural mosaic,
unveiled during the Spruce Meadows Masters last week, had the
power to strike awe and wonder in the hearts of viewers.
Equine artists from
all over the world joined hands to create panels for the masterpiece
titled Le Cadeau du Cheval, or The Horse Gift.
The project was
designed by Lewis Lavoie, an Edmonton artist, to celebrate the
horse. He coordinated mural artists and panels with fellow artists
Phil Alain and Paul Lavoie.
is a demonstration of unity through diversity," said Lavoie,
who has been specializing in collaborative mural mosaics for
the past four years. "The horse fits this theme best, as
a co-partner with humans."
The stunning 24
by 18 foot mural used the combined talents of 187 of the finest
equine artists to create 238 individual paintings that fit together
to form one unifying image of a horse in motion.
Lavoie said the
internet played a big part in bringing horse lovers and equine
artists from across the globe together.
We mailed out panels
to artists with only background colours pre-painted on them,"
he said. "Our cost for postage was about $10,000."
Mediums used by
artists included: oil, acrylic, mixed mediums, photo collage,
foil art, water color and wood burning.
by letting the artist be totally themselves," said Lavoie.
"What Ive discovered is that its kind of a
biblical thing - there are many members, but just one body.
The eye doesnt know what the foot is doing."
One of the contributors
was Rocky Views own Shannon Luyendyk, from Cochrane, who
painted two mural pieces, numbers 165 and 193.
"It was exciting
for me to participate in this mural project because it depicts
the subject matter I love - The beautiful horse," said
Luyendyk. "What a perfect place for its unveiling at Spruce
Meadows Masters where all the breeds are showcased as well as
the many disciplines of horsemanship from around the world.
mural depicts all of this wonderfully by so many incredible
equine artists from all over as well, added Luyendyk. "I
am so privileged to have my work showcased with them."
The Cochrane artist
also had an opportunity to paint a panel for the mural mosaic
which hangs in the Cochrane Ranch House. Her piece in that mural
is entitled Trust.
Earlier this year
Luyendyk earned the 2009 Cochrane Heritage Award for one of
her oil paintings titled The Fugitives.
Each painting used
in the Spruce Meadows mural reflects an individuals unique
creativity and style and many of the panels have complex stories
attached to the images.
choose to dig deep they will find that it goes much deeper,"
said Lavoie explaining a panel by a Peruvian artist that has
become one of his favourites.
Lavoie pointed out
many panels, telling tales from each one. One such panel, number
182, was painted by German-born artist Delia Pacheco. Her horses,
Ibn Astraney and Chut-Yanna, are subjects of her painting.
Over the course
of painting her panel, the second of these beloved horses died.
Her own tears mixed with the paint as she completed the mural
six months to the day apart, in 2007-2009," said the artist.
"When I received
the panel, there were dripping paint areas, and as I painted
the images I noticed one of the drippings came through under
Ibn's eye, making him look like he was crying, I kept it there,"
said Pacheco. "I cried every single day painting this panel,
even incorporating my tears into the paint around their eyes,
so I felt a part of me was in this painting.
"This was the
hardest painting I have ever done and it is very hard for me
to let go, but just knowing I have immortalized them in this
manner has made me happy and hope others will enjoy viewing
was only one of many paintings that held a spiritual quality.
Some of the Canadian
artists involved in the project attended the Spruce Meadows
Masters and showcased their artwork in the Horizon Pavilion.
All of them expressed a remarkable sense of privilege at being
able to contribute to the mural mosaic.
kind of like a camaraderie with people Ive never known,"
said Diane Anderson of Cremona, who painted Roy Rogers and his
horse Trigger on panel number 15.
from the Calgary area, painted three panels. The painting she
entitled Half Mile of Hell, shows a chuckwagon driver and his
team in one corner and dramatic emotion in a horses eye
in the other.
The background colours
of another panel she painted worked well to feature a portrait
of Peach, her daughters pony who died of illness at an
"What I liked
about the project was that it was a community effort,"
said Grant, who met regularly with six other artists at her
studio to work on mural panels.
from St. Albert, also painted three panels for the mural. Her
paintings portray horses from Greece, Poland and Peru, all countries
where shes travelled.
Wendy Palmer, an
artist who lives just outside of Calgary, created a panel of
Cloud, a real wild, white stallion.
is a tribute to all the wild mustangs in the Rocky Mountains,"
said Palmer, who recently studied under wildlife artist, Robert
Darcy Presoloski, was commissioned for two of the panels. She
painted the face of a race horse on one and a barrel racer on
When you get the
panels you kind of have to go with what you get," said
Presiloski with respect to colours and shapes in the background.
"I must have stared at one of the panels for two weeks
trying to decide what to paint."
From Spruce Meadows,
the mural mosaic will be traveling throughout Canada, the United
States and other destinations.
An interactive mural
mosaic can be accessed at www.muralmosaic.com/Cadeau.html that
provides information on each panel and the artists who created