When Alex Kostecka-Silva saw the call for artists, she knew she needed to apply.
But seeing her successful creation after being commissioned by the Town of Midland over the weekend really brought it all back home.
“The purpose was to create an uplifting, family-friendly piece that inspires community engagement and a sense of connectedness to Midland geographically and historically,” she says, noting the Midland Rotary Waterfront Trail offers a great opportunity to walk, bike and jog.
“My illustration highlights these recreational activities along with the beautiful terrain. In the background, you can see the Midland Bay with native pine and spruce trees on the horizon.”
The digital artist’s creation can be found at Midland Bay Landing affixed to a sea can. The mural stretches 40-feet long by six-feet tall, thereby covering the entire front of the large shipping container.
While Kostecka-Silva has designed other smaller murals in her hometown of Wasaga Beach, this is her first one installed as a wrap. It was printed as a large vinyl piece and installed onto the sea can by the town.
Karen Mealing, the town's culture and community manager, says the sea can was purchased with funding received through a grant that it can't announced at the present time.
"The funder has us under embargo, but I’m communicating with the program officer to see if we can make an announcement soon," Mealing explains. "The sea can was just one small component of the activities undertaken with the funding and we’d certainly love to share all that we accomplished with the grant with the community."
The call for artists, which went out earlier this year, asked that the design be inspired by the culture, geography and tourism along with a ‘sense of connectedness’ to Midland.
“They (the town) decided they liked the one I had submitted. It will be used by the town as a display piece," says Kostecka-Silva, who notes she was "kind of the art kid growing up" and has been doing digital illustrations for the past eight years.
“I just find you can’t really make mistakes from digital art. The undo button makes it very forgiving.”
Kostecka-Silva, who’s been told by the town the sea can will be used to house construction supplies at Midland Bay Landing and moved around to special events, says her design also recognizes the town’s contribution to the Trans Canada Trail.
The foreground features silhouettes of hikers and a bicyclist ascending an elevated area of the trail surrounded by pollinator plants, foliage and honey bees hard at work.
”I wanted to highlight as many activities as I could,” Kostecka-Silva says, adding that she did some research on the town’s history as well. “It took about two weeks of designing time and three drafts.”