Nfld. & Labrador

Corner Brook mall gets colourful makeover for Come Home Year

A stretch of vacant storefronts at the Corner Brook Plaza has been transformed, thanks to a local artist's talents.

Local artist Jackie Alcock spent 110 hours on series of paintings

Jackie Alcock estimates she spent more than 110 hours on her artwork, which covers a span of roughly 60 metres. (Lindsay Bird/CBC)

A stretch of vacant storefronts at Corner Brook's largest mall has been transformed into a colourful Come Home Year welcome, thanks to a local artist's time and talent.

The Corner Brook Plaza called in Jackie Alcock a few weeks ago, to see what she could do to spruce up the blank boards along a newly renovated wing of the mall, where a Target once stood.

Turns out, with a 60-metre canvas, Alcock could do quite a lot.

"As you can see, I get carried away," the artist laughed as she swiped a bit of final black paint on her series of paintings, which fill just about the entire space.

Alcock estimated she's invested well over 110 hours into the multicoloured whales, moose and mermaids that now live on the mall walls. During the 14 days she's been painting, she said, the evolving art has attracted a lot of attention.

"A lot of people have stopped and talked to me. The kids love it," she said.

"One of the [mall] workers said to me, it's really nice to see something on the wall, because it really brightened her day, rather than seeing a plain wall every morning. That was nice."

Alcock recreated the classic Corner Brook combo of a swan and the Sir Richard Squires building for her tribute to the city. (Lindsay Bird/CBC)

Leave your mark

As the work was commissioned with Come Home Year in mind, Alcock made sure to pay tribute to the city, with a large Corner Brook-themed painting she hopes residents and visitors use as a backdrop for pictures. One wall panel has also been transformed into a Come Home Year guestbook.

"I hope it catches on and people come up and sign it," she said.

Alcock is well known in the area for her array of artistic talents — she was named the North American rug hooker of the year in 2019 — but until the mall called, she was worried she'd miss out on getting any of her work featured in the Come Home Year celebrations.

"I had tried a couple of places to get an art show, but everything was booked up," she said.

"Now, I've got a prominent display here."

Most of Alcock's paintings are fantastical takes on Newfoundland flora and fauna. (Lindsay Bird/CBC)

Corner Brook's Come Home Year kicks off Friday, and is the city's first solo Come Home Year effort, having only ever taken part in a provincewide event in 1966. 

The celebrations will run until July 28, although Alcock's artwork may last longer than that. She said her paintings will stay up until there is retail interest in the vacancies behind them. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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