Mural Monday – the mysterious Billy Wenman

Anther mural I photographed in the town of Golden is this one, titled simply “Billy Wenman Jr. 1887-1984.”

Golden mural "Billy Wenman Jr.  1887-1984" by Michelle Loughery

Golden mural “Billy Wenman Jr. 1887-1984” by Michelle Loughery (Photo © 2013 by V. Nesdoly)

Who is Billy Wenman and what is his claim to fame? It probably has something to do with the camera he’s holding. I’m also curious about the five women  in the background, hanging onto each other looking over a precipice.

Sadly, no amount of googling has made me any the wiser about Billy Wenman. However, on checking the website of the artist, Michelle Loughery, I came across these revealing statements about her work:

“My murals are about people having an effect on their cities, taking 
responsibility for their visual and physical environment, leaving records of 
their lives and concerns – and in the process transforming neighbourhoods, making inspiring artists out of the youth and our communities”.
~Michelle Loughery 2004

And then there’s this bit of her philosophy of what art, specifically working on murals, can do for a city or town:

“As I began to paint my first murals I realized that the painting of blank walls not only became a beacon to the youth who volunteered their services, but that the murals also attracted seniors and other members of the community, and thus created bridge of cultural healing. This bridging was recreated in each of the communities I worked in and I realized that murals could become the thread that ties a community together; a mural embodies the soul of a community and makes it visible and accessible to all. From this I developed a unique program where a series of murals could be painted in a youth based community collaboration that could become the catalyst to public art development…” (Read her entire Bio)

So whoever Billy Wenman was and whatever he did in his lifetime, it’s obvious his legacy grew in the hands of muralist Michelle Loughery.

UPDATE January 2, 2014:

Artist Michelle Loughery gives us this background to the mural (copied from comments):

“He was a photographer from the area his photos were so clear for the time that they look like they were taken today…it was the type of camera and glass film plates he used..the ladies are walking on the very newly opened highway..or well road…way back in the day….he took the shot”

Thank you, Michelle!

Mural signed: "M. Loughery - 08"

Mural signed: “M. Loughery – 08”

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Mural Monday – the mysterious Billy Wenman

  1. He was a photographer from the area his photos were so clear for the time that they look like they were taken today…it was the type of camera and glass film plates he used..the ladies are walking on the very newly opened highway..or well road…way back in the day….he took the shot

    Like

      • I knew Billy Wenman . When we lived in Golden Mr. Wenman was the local shoe maker and bicycle repairman where I used to take my shoes and bicycles for repair. In those days Mr Wenman was a volunteer fireman and tended to place himself in charge of this brigade. He tended to busy himself with this and other undertakings. He was a veteran of WWl and involved himself very much with Remembrance Day and the well being of his brother veterans. Mr Wenman did not own a car and commuted about town on a bicycle. He would signal his turns with his left arm straight out for left and 90′ bend for right turns. I never knew the man’s past whether he had a family or not but suffice to say he was part of the village that it takes to raise a child.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Ron! This is so interesting. Love the details about how he signaled turns on his bike and took charge of the fire brigade. There are so many salt-of-the-earth people in small town B.C. And isn’t it lovely that Michelle Loughery keeps these people from being lost to us with her wonderful murals!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: