Laval’s Olivier Gaudette, a painter for the people

Takes us back in time 

By Rhonda Massad

Olivier Gaudette paints what the people want. Last week he completed his most recent work for the city of Laval at the Jean Paul Campeau Community Centre in Chomedey, a mural depicting the history of Chomedey and its most important symbols outlined by the residents in a city consultation.

The mural traces the history of Chomedey with emphasis on log workers, Maison Benjamin Papineau (bottom left) a farm house built in 1820, Lachapelle bridge, Chomedy coat of arms (kite) dating back to 1965 before the 13 other municipalities on Île Jésus into what is now. Today’s modern buildings can be seen in the centre of the mural.

You can also see Armand Frappier (black and white man, mid-right) the Chomedey scientist who is honoured today at the Armand Frappier Museum for interpretation of bioscience and electrical engineer Léo-Ernest Ouimet who in 1904 opened the first Canadian moving picture house with a projector of his devising shown in the mural on the bottom right.

“The city almost gives me carte blanche,” the 36 year old father of two Olivier Gaudette told The Suburban in an interview. “Citizens were consulted and they came up with a list of what was important to them. I prepared a sketch based on that and the city gave me the green light.”

The project took about 14 work days to complete over the span of a month. The base of the mural is rolled out in latex paint and then completed entirely with spray cans.

“For more precise areas I have adaptors for the spray cans to allow more or less pressure,” Gaudette explained, “I like working with spray cans because the colours are ready to go, no mixing as with other mediums. I keep about 200 colours in my car.”

Gaudette has worked on several city projects to date including murals at the Nature Centre, Labelle park, Cartier Arena and most recently the Maison des jeunes in St. Dorothy commemorating it’s tenth year.

“I was a graffitist when I was young, I always dreamed of making a living doing what I love.”

Gaudette has a few ideas in the works for future projects with the city and hopes to get them under way soon.

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Kite depicts Chomedey coat of arms.

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