“Films on My Mind” is the title of this mural. Zach Abney the lead artist, and Nancy Kuchta his assistant completed painting the mural in September. The unveiling of this mural included live music and free food where we encouraged citizens of Kamloops to attend. The event helped commemorate another successful addition to our growing number of murals in the downtown area. Located on the Paramount Theatre (at 503 Victoria Street), this mural brings life to various films.
“Films on my Mind” features a number of scenes from five different films that have played at the Paramount. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is one of the films features in this mural and it was the first film known to play in the Paramount theatre. Abney suggests that this piece of art portrays individuals recollecting the scenes from the depicted films. These films stick with us. Therefore this represented with the painting fading from the silhouette of a face to a specific movie scene.
If you’d like to check out more of Zach Abney’s work, you can click on this link.
“The Winking Man” is another one of Zach and Nancy’s murals and you can take a look at that one here.
The Winking Man
The artist Zach Abneyenvisioned this mural painting with Nancy Kuchta. This mural is referred to as “The Winking Man” or “The Man Winking”. It’s located on the 300 block of Seymour Street and can be seen while walking or driving along Seymour Street.
According to Zach, this piece of art explores the human gaze as a form of wordless expression. Body language expresses so much before words become a part of the equation. A single, brief glance can convey a range of different emotions that are felt. Such emotion may extend from happiness and joy, to sadness, grief, and pain, or perhaps even wisdom or glee. That momentary glimpse of eye contact between two people is the inspiration behind this mural created by Abney and Kuchta’s. “The Winking Man” communicates a wisdom that comes from age and experience, while the facial posture of the man recounts a combination of both wisdom and glee.
If you enjoy “The Winking Man” painted by Zach and Nancy, here’s another mural done by this talented pair of artists. Keep an eye out for future works done by them.
You can also check Zach out on social media on his Instagram or his website.
Maurya’s Bustling Bazaar
Ken Wells is the lead artist of this mural. The “Bustling Bazaar” mural is located at the front of Maurya’s Restaurant on 165 Victoria Street. Unlike other murals in the series, Maurya’s “Bustling Bazaar” remains the only mural featured at the front of a building rather than in the alley.
This mural features a busy bazaar, which recreates within a piece of art the cultural atmosphere that Maurya’s imbues. Maurya’s bustling bazaar mural attests to the thriving art scene in downtown Kamloops.
This mural created by Ken Wells features a characteristic white dog known as one of Ken’s signature styles. There are other murals that Ken Wells has painted around downtown Kamloops. Can you find Ken’s trademark dog in any of the other murals around town? Tag us in an image on Facebook or Instagram at Downtown Kamloops to let us and the community know!
If you would like to appreciate more of Ken’s art, check it out on his Flickr by clicking on the link.
In addition, if you’re interested in checking out more of the murals around downtown, contact the CAP Team to book a mural tour. You can get ahold of us by either e-mail or phone call.
Over twenty years ago, Dan Zackarius opened Zack’s Coffees, Teas & Gifts in the historical Ellis Block, located on the corner of 4th Avenue and Victoria Street in downtown Kamloops. The coffee shop’s charm has remained a constant throughout the decades due to its famous striped awnings and bold varieties of coffee beans and tea leaves. However, since 2012 Andrew Blackwell has been the proud owner of Zack’s alongside a staff of ten that is a, “close community of really friendly people.” Blackwell’s family is well-known in the Kamloops community for establishing Blackwell Dairy Farm in Barnhartvale in 1913, and the family’s contributions to local charities and events.
Every day, waves of office staff, retirees, and students fill up the space of dark hardwood floors and a wall of windows. Andrew attributes the store’s success to being, “…fairly interesting and cutting edge…a third way of coffee which people may not expect.” Without skipping a beat, he mentions his staff, “are dedicated and have stuck around….I’m proud of them. They always do a great job.” Whether they are shooting freshly ground espresso or preparing your slice of lemon meringue pie, the staff at Zack’s Coffees is down to earth and welcoming. The long-term staff of the ten often socialize outside of work, a handful of them living in downtown Kamloops as well.
It is clear their products speak for themselves for all demographics of tea and coffee drinkers. One thing customers and residents may not know is that all coffee beans here are roasted in-house. When asked about general coffee bean roasting etiquette, Andrew states that, “it changes from bean to bean and from crop to crop. There are different varieties and different beans taste better dark and vice versa. Some have different properties of fruit notes like citrus or more orchardy and some can have more chocolatey notes. You want to tailor the roast to every bean.” This is what they do with coffee beans from Costa Rica, Kenya, Ethiopia and other higher altitude, equatorial countries. Zack’s Coffees “ongoing experimentation” with roasting techniques has revived the ‘morning cup of joe’ for espresso enthusiasts. On a Monday morning, you may be sipping a Costa Rican blend whereas on Tuesday you’ll be surprised by the aromas in a Kenyan blend. Similarly, the clientele at Zack’s are pleasantly unpredictable as previously mentioned.
Andrew sums up the neighbourhood he lives and works in nicely by stating, “…the feeling of people moving around rather than just cars going from one place to another is nice, especially in a city that’s spread out like Kamloops. It’s a little more organic.” In a fast-paced world, we may all need to be reminded every now and then to slow down and enjoy an afternoon engrossed in a novel or great conversation.
In the past, Zack’s has hosted all-ages, live music events for jazz musicians and folk artists alike. Stay tuned to see what the future has in store for Andrew and his team at Zack’s Coffees & Teas!