Bracebridge artist Kimberly Rideout revealed her latest mural at the Pines Long-Term Care Home today, uncovering a bright orange sunset complete with a canoe, pine and birch trees, and all the majesty Muskoka has to offer.
After donating a mural to Andy’s House last year, Rideout decided to donate another mural in honour of her father, who died in January. The community voted on the Pines as the recipient, which aligned perfectly with the facility’s plan to renovate the main floor of the residence. It took her three and a half days to complete the piece, which was revealed at 2 p.m. on April 22 in front of dozens of staff members, residents and their families. Rideout enjoyed listening to the excitement build among the residents as they gathered for the reveal, and once the curtain was dropped, it was heartwarming to see their reactions.
“They all seemed very tickled and overwhelmed,” Rideout said. “One of the oldest residents there, her name is Jean and she’s 104, she even said to me she was just so touched and she loved it and it reminded her of good memories as well.”
Rideout’s primary goal was to create something that residents could sit and be immersed in as they reminisced about the past. It wasn’t long after the mural was shown that she heard residents talking about their memories of summers at the cottage. She always knew she wanted to incorporate nature and pine trees into the piece, and the logo for the Pines Long-Term Care home led her to include a sunset as well.
Once she saw the two signs on the wall where she’d be painting, she was inspired to add three-dimensional elements to the mural. She added pieces of birch behind the signs so that they looked like they were nailed to a tree as well as a rope hanging from the side of the canoe. She even attached rocks, artificial moss and grass, and other small details to bring the picture to life.
Another important part of the mural are the details dedicated to Rideout’s dad, and she said she felt him watching over her at the reveal. She chose red for the canoe since that was his favourite colour and the writing on its side is all in reference to him. The BB stands for his nickname, Bronte Bob, and the numbers stand for his birthday on August 18, 1941.
“Paul said to me, ‘Are you going to sign it anywhere?’ And I said, ‘I already did,’” Rideout said. “My dad’s there. That’s all that matters.”
Jennifer Ridgley, administrator at the Pines, said she was amazed to see such a beautiful piece of art created in such a small space and in such a short amount of time. When the curtain dropped, she couldn’t believe her eyes.
“It was absolutely breathtaking,” Ridgley said. “We had lots of residents and family members and staff members, and when they dropped the curtain, people’s faces were just instant smiles. It was beyond what I ever thought it was going to be.”
Ridgely said the piece speaks to the calmness and peace of Muskoka, and she was excited to hear residents sharing stories of the sunsets and summer days in their own lives after they saw it. She was blown away by the details, from the birds and beautiful trees to the clouds and the canoe.
“It fits in perfectly, and the moment that you walk into that area in the home, it just lightens that entire area,” she said. “It’s the focus now of that common area, which is exactly what we were looking for, and it’s a piece that residents and families and staff members can reminisce about.”
Everyone at the Pines wants to extend a huge thank you to Rideout, Ridgely said. The mural is the perfect addition to their recent renovations, and they’re thrilled that it will be a permanent part of their home going forward.
“We are so thankful and just so privileged that we were chosen to have her do this,” Ridgley said. “We’re forever grateful to her. We’re already talking about how we preserve it so that it will be there for years and years to come.”