British Columbia

Cheeky mural in Prince George celebrates seniors' spirit

Go-karting and breakdancing octogenarians? A 70-year-old lady in peacock yoga pose? The eye-catching depictions — based on the faces of real seniors — is a colourful homage to the seniors activity centre.

'We want to capture them all having fun, smiling,' says artist

Angela Fretter of the Prince George seniors' activity centre hopes the mural shows how much fun the seniors have at their centre. (Jordan Tucker/CBC)

There's a new mural going up on the side of a Prince George seniors activity centre and it's a testament to the spirit of the seniors who visit the centre every day.

Artist Gregory Michael Gisslassen — alias Grinch Airbrush — has been commissioned to paint the mural.

"We want to capture them all having fun, smiling," he said.

Gregory Michael Gisslassen — alias Grinch Airbrush — is the artist behind a new street mural going up in Prince George. (Jordan Tucker/CBC)

The figures are based on real seniors that visit the centre, who Gisslassen photographs and later transposes onto his artwork.

"They gave me full reign — I just looked for the 'funnest', the happiest, the 'joyest', the brightest, you know."

Gisslassen, who studied art in school and took an airbrush art course at BCIT, spends about eight hours on each subject.

Some of his depictions of seniors are a little more, well, fanciful.

Artist Grinch Airbrush spends about eight hours on each subject. (Jordan Tucker/CBC)

"Some of them say when they look at the break dancer — we can't do that!" Gisslassen laughed."But everybody loves what's going up."

Angela Fretter, Events Coordinator at the Prince George Seniors Activity Centre, agreed.

"We wanted something to depict how much fun we have here because nobody really realizes that this is an activity centre for seniors," she said.

Grinch superimposes seniors faces onto the figures he paints — like this 70-year-old lady doing the peacock pose. (Jordan Tucker/CBC)

The Prince George Seniors Activity Centre is located in the old library on 4th Avenue, and Fretter hoped the mural distinguishes this special place.

"It's really important for seniors to feel like they have a place to go where there's people like them, and where they can enjoy the day with," she said.

As for the cheeky subjects, she said "if you sit around and do nothing, you get old".

A new mural is going up on the side of the Prince George seniors activity centre. (Jordan Tucker/CBC)

With files from Jordan Tucker and Daybreak North.