By Saige Traise, Naturally L&A — The ‘Pallet’able Community Art Project was developed as a way to introduce more creativity and beauty into the already picturesque landscape of Napanee. Led by project coordinator Tim Nimigan, 30 pallets adorned with meaningful artwork were strategically placed throughout the town. Each piece serves a unique purpose, paying tribute to loved ones, reflecting the realities of life in Napanee, or delving into the depths of our history. Sponsored by local businesses, organizations, and families, and skillfully crafted by talented artists in the area, each artwork in this collection holds significance.
Join us in celebrating the vibrant artistic spirit that enriches Napanee’s cultural landscape. These pallet artworks offer a delightful and thought-provoking experience, inviting you to appreciate the talent, creativity, and stories behind each piece.
Check out this reel on our social media channels to catch a glimpse of each of the pallets in the collection. To kick-start your exploration, I’ve selected five personal favorites from the collection and provided my interpretation of their meanings. We hope it will inspire you to embark on a tour around town and immerse yourself in the masterpieces that have been spreading joy throughout the community since 2018.
“Inclusion,” a profound piece within this series, stands out as a powerful symbol of representation and unity for children worldwide. Created by artist Barbara Grawberger, the artwork incorporates meaningful elements that symbolize neurodiversity. One such element is the vibrant blue water, which represents the UN’s “light it up blue” initiative observed on World Autism Day. The sunflowers, carefully chosen for their symbolism of love, unity, and friendship, further contribute to the inclusive theme. Although the children at the center of the artwork are portrayed differently, they are all depicted in the same color, emphasizing the message that equality is paramount and our differences should be embraced.
The backside of the pallet features additional artwork and flowers, many of which were painted by individuals from Community Living, further showcasing the collaborative and inclusive nature of the project. Make sure to visit Winchester Park to witness the magnificence of this masterpiece firsthand!
Skate parks are often unconventional spaces, serving as platforms for individuals to express themselves in unique ways that may not be possible elsewhere. Artist Debbie Nimigan skillfully captures this essence by shattering the confines of expectation in her remarkable artwork. Instead of merely using the skid surface as a canvas, Nimigan transforms it by merging boards and creating diagonal patterns. I’ve always admired innovative thinking, and this piece exemplifies precisely that.
What makes this pallet even more significant is its sentimental meaning, as it was sponsored by the Rogers Family in loving memory of Bill Rogers. Bill played a vital role in the development and establishment of the skate park, transforming it into the vibrant youth hub it is today. The park has brought immense joy to many, and I’m thrilled that this art piece adds another layer of inspiration and delight. Crashing through conventional boundaries, Nimigan’s artwork and the sponsorship by the Rogers Family beautifully encapsulate the spirit of the skate park and its impact on the community.
The “Wheels” pallet can be found at the Skateboard Bowl at Springside Park!
3. Elements of Springside:
When it comes to the design, color work, and overall influence of this piece, I can confidently say that it couldn’t have been executed any better. Local artist and project coordinator, Tim Nimigan, has truly outdone himself with this creation. The ingenious use of pallet slats to deconstruct and depict the various elements of Springside Park is a testament to his artistic vision. From the park benches and overhead bridge to the vibrant waterfall and lush flora, every key feature of the area is thoughtfully represented in Tim’s signature style.
Adding an extra dimension to the painting, the external inclusion of the streetlight and the iconic heron, which has become synonymous with Springside Park, brings the artwork to life. These elements create a captivating sense of depth and further enhance the immersive experience. What I particularly adore about the “Elements of Springside” design is its placement within a meticulously maintained garden. The contrast of the caricatured artwork against the natural beauty of the surroundings is truly enchanting, leaving observers in awe. It serves as a testament to the power of art in celebrating and preserving the natural wonders of our community.
As you might have guessed, you can find this pallet at Springside Park!
2. Eat Local:
Peggy Collins, a talented local author, educator, and illustrator, has crafted numerous remarkable pieces throughout the years, with several of them being showcased in this series. One artwork that stands out for me is “Eat Local,” capturing my attention with its vibrant and captivating design, as well as its meaningful message. As a county rich in farming, it is crucial to recognize and express gratitude to those who work tirelessly to ensure we have nourishing food on our plates year round. By supporting local farmers and restaurants, we demonstrate our appreciation for their invaluable contributions to our community. The inclusion of a garden bed at the foot of the painting adds another impactful dimension to the piece, reinforcing the message of cherishing the abundance of resources readily available in this exceptional area. It serves as a powerful reminder of how fortunate we are to have such fantastic local assets at our fingertips.
Take a look for this design by the road on Centre Street, just south of the bridge!
1. Moon’s Next Adventure:
At the top of my favorites list is actually the final installment in the ‘Pallet’able Art series—Moon’s Next Adventure. This captivating artwork was painted by Jessica Doner as a tribute to the late border collie named Moon. Moon held a special place in the hearts of many in the community. He was known for faithfully trotting alongside his owner, John Herzog, clutching a Tim Hortons coffee cup in his mouth and playing with passersby. The impact Moon and John had on Napanee was evident when, during my visit to the pallet, someone approached me to share their own heartfelt stories of the duo and how integral they were to the community. As an animal lover who happens to have a border collie myself, this piece deeply resonated with me. It serves as a beautiful reminder of the enduring presence of the animals in our lives, even after they have physically left us.
See this design for yourself just outside of the downtown Tim Hortons location!
For an interactive map and the artists statement of intent for each painting, check out Greater Napanee’s Arts and Culture webpage.