What We Build, Hertz Equipment Rental, 12’ x 88’, 1600 Gamble Place, Winnipeg, MB, 2012, latex on raised brick

Sponsor: Take Pride Winnipeg, Hertz Equipment Rental

Dave Mintenko, the manager of Hertz Equipment Rental approached me about a Mural for the side of their building where their staff takes lunch breaks. Initially he wanted all of his staff painted in the Mural, working on machines, or in the buildings but as we progressed we decided a group photo would be better.

The main goal was to feature all of the buildings that their equipment helped build. We began with the Richardson International Airport expansion, the MTS Centre, the Museum of Human Rights, the new Bomber Stadium and Provencher Bridge. I used the road ramp up to the arrivals as the entry point and collaged much of the people and equipment on this section. It proved to be very busy, so I simplified it by omitting the airport, and putting the other four buildings in chronological order from past to present, left to right. The airport underwent its expansion in 2011, the building of the Museum of Human Rights was did not have the glass on in 2011 and the Bomber stadium had the beams up when I began taking photographs. When I took photographs of the Museum of Human Rights, the Esplanade Riel was in the background so I decided to include both in the Mural. The addition of the Salisbury House logo was a last minute detail to honour Earl Barish who owns the property and also owns Salisbury House.

All of their current 2012 staff are in the photograph. Dave Mintenko (the manager) gathered everyone together, got them to wear the new shirt uniform and took a group photo. This worked well as it focused the detail in one area. This was the first time I did a painting limiting the colour palette to cool colours (blues and purples) and contrasting warm colours (orange and yellow) for emphasis. The idea here was to make the equipment stand out against the buildings. All the machines were supposed to be orange and yellow while the buildings were to be blue, receding in the background. Once I was on-site painting, some of the staff felt strongly about the boom lift remaining blue, so I made this change. It did alter the overall effect slightly, but it made everyone happy.

The best part was being able to paint with my son, Manny whom I ‘hired’ as my apprentice. He was only 12 at the time and took a real interest in painting, climbing the scaffolding and saving money. Together, we painted an extra section at the front where we put a Hertz logo. When this was finished, he was able to apply this knowledge of the Hertz Rental sign to the Mural. He is responsible for painting the sign which is located between the MTS Centre and the Museum of Human Rights. I think he did a great job!