Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation
Box 1348 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0
Contact: Dr Charles Helm, Vice President – 250 242
August 25, 2006
Two enterprising and talented artists are transforming the appearance of a building in the Tumbler Ridge Commercial Park. Tumbler Ridge’s Joan Zimmer, and Manzanita Snow from the Queen Charlotte Islands are tasked with creating large dinosaur murals on the outside walls of what will soon be the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery. This work has already attracted a lot of attention and has raised awareness of the potential this project holds for the community and region as a major tourist attraction.
Joan Zimmer is a well-known local artist who has been involved in numerous projects (including the well known downtown “signpost” and more recently the murals on the large box outside the RCMP building). She is also no stranger to dinosaurs, having done the artwork for the kids’ book “Daniel’s Dinosaurs”, which tells the story of the Tumbler Ridge dinosaur discoveries.
Joan comments, “This is by far the biggest project I have ever taken on. I enjoy doing it for the community and to beautify the town. I appreciate the support of the many people that stop and encourage us, and look forward to the opening of the gallery.”
Manzanita Snow has been a prolific artist since 1982 and has put on fifteen solo art shows, and is also cartoonist for the Queen Charlotte Islands Observer. “I knew this project was big, but I didn’t know quite how big until I got here, sometimes it is almost overwhelming and makes me feel small,” she enthuses. “It is great to be involved in something so integral to the future of the community. Everyone can enjoy these pieces of art, you don’t have to be a scientist to appreciate them.” Once finished with these murals, Manzanita will return to the Queen Charlottes, where she is starting a new business in mural painting.
In addition to the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery title and the logos of the Museum Foundation and the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre, the front wall displays two faithful replicas of dinosaur art by the renowned Alberta dinosaur artist Michael Skrepnick, who generously allowed the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation to use his artwork at no cost. These accurately portray the types of dinosaurs and the environments that characterized the Tumbler Ridge area back in the dinosaur days.
Joan and Manzanita have used Michael’s dinosaur art for the monumental side-wall mural as well, and have expanded on this with a beautiful surrounding scene, filled with Cretaceous Era plants, that is guaranteed to draw the eye toward the huge theropod dinosaur.
The art work is feasible thanks to a generous donation from Ledcor and Pelly. At a recent meeting Tumbler Ridge’s Mayor and Council lent their support to the concept by agreeing to the temporary lowering of the berm alongside Mackenzie Way, thus ensuring better visibility of the murals from the road. Ellen and Heinz Sager provided invaluable support by billeting Manzanita for a whole month.
The interior renovations to the building are almost complete, and work will now begin on the exhibits and displays. In the meantime, the combined skills and styles of these two accomplished artists are breathing beauty into this corner of Tumbler Ridge, and raising anticipation of the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery that will follow.