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Welcome to Estevan mural celebrates the community

Agriculture, wildlife, energy and more are celebrated in the project by BJ Zieger.
This new mural, painted by BJ Zieger, celebrates some of what Estevan has to offer.

ESTEVAN - The latest mural added to the community by artist BJ Zieger is a tribute to Estevan's attractions and amenities.

The Welcome to Estevan artwork, located on the east side of the Canuckcade building at the intersection of Kensington Avenue and Fourth Street, serves as a greeting to people from outside of the city and also a celebration of some of what Estevan has to offer.

Within the capitalized, block letters of Estevan are a pheasant, the Lignite Louie statue, the city's water tower with Estevan in quotation marks, a horse, a pump jack with a sunset in the background, agriculture equipment and an Estevan Bruins' hockey player.

People will also see the sun in the right-hand corner of the mural, paying tribute to Estevan's status as Canada's Sunshine Capital, several wheat sheaves; and The Energy City written in stylized letters.

Kevin Mortenson, who owns the building, approached Zieger with the idea of painting the mural.

"I've always thought it would look good on the side of the building there, some sort of a mural," said Mortenson, who is a neighbour of Zieger's.

The two work out at the same gym, and when Mortenson approached Zieger, Mortenson described the project as "an old-school postcard" with the lettering. Mortenson gave Zieger an idea of some of the things he wanted, such as Lignite Louie, and let Zieger run with it.

"I'm really impressed with how it turned out. When you come off the overpass, it looks great," said Mortenson.

He pointed out no taxpayer dollars went into making the project happen.

"I've been thinking about this for years, and I had to wait for the people that were renting the building to move out," said Mortenson. "I decided I should pull the trigger and do this."

Zieger, who owns the Lucky Buddha Tattoo parlour, is pleased with how the mural turned out. He had a lot of fun creating it and he views the project as a nice way to give back to the community.

"Kevin and I were talking about doing something that represents Estevan, and I just thought of a few things that I feel like show the town and represent it," said Zieger.

Lignite Louie is a piece of the city's history, and pheasants are always around, he said. The Bruins are a big part of Estevan, and farming and the oil sector are important parts of the area's economy.

Zieger spent about four days working on the project. He said he didn't mind working on a metal surface.

"Usually I use a mix of brush paint and spray paint, but I couldn't do that on the metal, so I just used all spray paint," said Zieger.

This isn't the first mural that Zieger has completed in Estevan, as he has used his artistic talents to enhance the appearance of the city on numerous previous occasions. This won't be his final project in the community, either, as Zieger said he has some other things in the works.

In addition to greeting visitors, Mortenson also hopes the project will improve morale as people drive into the city. There are some vacant lots where businesses used to be located on the north side of Fourth Street from Kensington Avenue to east of Second Avenue. Mortenson pointed out there is a park and other attractions on the south side of the street.

"I thought it would be nice to see something nice [when people are] coming into Estevan," said Mortenson.

They have received a lot of favourable comments on social media, and Mortenson is pleased Zieger was able to complete the work.

"The community seems to be behind it," said Mortenson.

"I've had a lot of great compliments about it, and other people seem to like it," added Zieger.