Teri James expressed gratitude to Langley City artist Judy Pohl, and her daughter Maddie, for the gift of a mural she painted in Salt Lane. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Teri James expressed gratitude to Langley City artist Judy Pohl, and her daughter Maddie, for the gift of a mural she painted in Salt Lane. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Langley City’s Salt Lane infused by artist’s inspiration

Judy Pohl had an artistic idea she wanted to share, and it came out in the form of a downtown mural.

A Langley artist is putting her mark on Langley City, in a rather significant way.

Judy Pohl has painted her second mural on the side of a downtown business. This time, the side of the former Easingwood building – facing Salt Lane – has been transformed.

Although Pohl makes her living painting murals, chalkboards, windows and signs with Judy’s Custom Art Services, this project was a labour of love, she explained.

“I was just looking for something bright and impactful, with a message,” Pohl said, calling up Teri James at the Downtown Langley Business Association and pleading with her to find a space on which she could paint.

“She called me up and said, ‘I have a mural that needs to come out. Find me a wall. So we went about the process of doing exactly that,” James recounted.

Ultimately, her latest mural came to life late last month featuring large flowers and bees.

“I had something that needs to be shared… Without bees there would be no colour, so this is what came out,” Pohl said, looking back at the completed mural with a sense of pride.

She did it with help from her 14-year-old daughter Maddie, who is demonstrating an artistic bend like her mother. Given Maddie’s obvious talents, Mom jokes that she might one-day soon take over her business. In the short-term, however, she might be helping out with some Christmas windows this winter.

Maddie too was proud of her contributions to the Salt Lane mural. She focused much of her efforts on painting one bee that she’s since named Willis.

When asked why she chose to share her art in downtown Langley, Pohl said she’s proudly a Langley City resident.

“We enjoy the downtown core immensely,” she added.

The project only took about 36 hours of actual painting, but that was spread over much of June. Weather was one of the factors. But admittedly, Pohl said, a lot of the time was spent talking with passersby who wished to comment or ask questions.

“I did spent a lot of time talking to people,” she said, adding that she was glad to share her thoughts behind the creation and the message she’s hoping to get out.

“It’s a save-the-bees type project. It explains how there needs to be bees, otherwise we wouldn’t have flowers, and we wouldn’t have colour.”

She’s even incorporated a Pokemon character that’s hidden in her latest creation.

Pohl created another mural downtown in June 2015. Trees, shrubs, and a walkway were painted on the east wall of Fenton Lane.

Again, that project was free of charge, with the DLBA only paying for the paints and supplies. This time out, more than six gallons of paint were donated for Pohl’s bees and flowers courtesy of Cloverdale Paints.

“It’s just amazing, the transformation of the lane,” James said. “It has made all the difference in the world to this wall in Salt Lane. The businesses are absolutely delight about it.”

Langley City Ted Schaffer was also impressed by the artwork, but more so by the artist’s who shared her gift.

“From the City’s perspective, it looks gorgeous,” Schaffer said. “It’s really pretty and it adds just a little bit of life to that area.”

He said City is making an effort to improve some of the lane ways and make them a little more vibrant, and said Pohl’s addition to Salt Lane was a welcome addition.

“I’d just like to thank Judy for her generosity. I mean it’s not the first mural she’s done, the first one was gorgeous as well… it’s great that someone like that steps forward and helps beautify the City,” he said.

James concurred.

“We can’t thank Judy and her family enough for this beautiful community gift,” she said. “These things just happened because of the goodness of Judy’s heart.”

Through the years, Pohl has also painted murals at the lawn bowling club, Douglas Park pump house, Penzer Bike Park, and a several businesses throughout the Lower Mainland including one on the one-way strip of Fraser Highway.

Her next Langley project is expected to start this weekend, painting a mural at All of Oils on Douglas Crescent.

 

Judy Pohl’s daughter Maddie introduces Willis, the bee she painted as part of her mother’s Salt Lane mural. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

Judy Pohl’s daughter Maddie introduces Willis, the bee she painted as part of her mother’s Salt Lane mural. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)