A young painter is giving fire hydrants in the town of Montague an artistic make-over.

Town officials hired Chelsey Johnston, 21, to bring some life to the dreary hydrants around town.

"I'm doing them all different characters, different scenery and just anything I can think of that would represent Montague or that the kids would like,” said Johnston.


Montague hired Chelsey Johnston, 21, to bring some life to the fire hydrants in town. (CBC)

Johnston is going hydrant to hydrant using her oil paints to beautify the community, making the hydrants especially fun for kids.

She has painted one as a Dalmatian and another as a one-eyed minion, a creature from the popular animated film Despicable Me. 

Near the town roundabout, she will paint one hydrant as a criminal and another as a police officer in pursuit. Other ideas include a firefighter, lady bug, lobsters and lighthouse.

Dalmation hydrant

This hydrant of a Dalmatian on Queens Road was one of the first two completed by Johnston. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

The town administrator says it's all part of a new effort in Montague to create more outdoor art.

The town also recently had to sculptures installed: the Three Rivers Fish sculpture on the south side of the Montague waterfront and Birds of a Feather, a sculpture of cormorants on the north side of the river.

"Every community is a beautiful community. You gotta have something more that draws people in and gives them something to go and see,” said chief administrative officer of Andrew Daggett.
“We just figured this would be another little added bonus. We'd get her to paint some of our fire hydrants for us."

Johnston's wages are paid by a provincial job-training program.

She said she figures the hydrants will be good practice for a career down the road, whether painting homes, murals or fine art.

"I love to paint.  I love to draw,” she said. “I love doing art."