Like much of the wildlife he recreates in his instantly recognizable murals, artist Mehran ‘Raz’ Razmpoosh is heading south for the winter this year.
Before his departure, however, he left the North Island a very prominent parting gift.
His latest mural depicts a vintage log truck, its driver standing to one side observing its load, on the 18-by-34-foot wall of the new car wash at the Hyde Creek Petro Canada station.
“Anything that will get eyes on the station,” owner Aaron Gabrysh said of his rationale for commissioning the mural. It is the third painting Raz has done at the station, including a whale mural on its large propane tank and an interior seascape.
Raz finished and signed the mural just two days before the car wash, which includes an outside bay for large trucks, opened early this month.
The prolific artist had called Port Hardy home for the past year, aiming to open the New Art Centre — a combined studio/gallery — on Market Street in the town. Now that it appears that venture will not come to fruition, the painter will head to Vancouver and hopes to pursue his other passion — teaching art.
“Next summer I will come back,” he said. He explained that in previous years he would work in Port Hardy during the summer and head to the mainland during the winter. The past winter was an exception as he worked on the planned art centre.
“I’m going to each kids from the Squamish Nation,” he said. The artist has taught at the school in previous years and looks forward to working with the students there again this winter. “Kids are my teachers,” he explained.
He had hoped to conduct classes for local schoolchildren in the studio space in Port Hardy, but is now seeking alternate arrangements to provide lessons in the town. “I’m not giving up,” he said. “Before I leave I’m going to go speak to the School Board… If I can’t do it at my school I’ll do it at theirs.”
The artist’s extended stay in the town has been a prolific one, seeing ten new murals added to his already extensive portfolio.
More on the artist and his work can be found at www.razmurals.com.