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Acclaimed Penticton artist brought in to help restore huge mural at Rattlesnake Canyon amusement park
A well-known South Okanagan artist – with a lot of help from his aspiring artist daughter – spent last week in Osoyoos sprucing up one of the town’s most popular tourist attractions.
Paul Savage, the longtime owner of Rattlesnake Canyon amusement park, hired Glenn Clark to repaint the 150-foot-long mural that winds through the middle of the park.
Clark brought along his daughter Colette, 21, just recently graduated from art school in Vancouver.
“I had played hockey against Glenn in Penticton and knew he was a talented artist,” said Savage, who has been the owner of Rattlesnake Canyon since 2006. “I had seen a lot of his work in Penticton over the years and was always very impressed.
“When I decided the mural needed a new paint job this spring, Glenn was the first guy I thought of. I got a hold of him and he was very interested and he agreed to do it.”
Clark, 55, said he considers himself a “very lucky man” to have made a living as an artist over most of the past 30 years.
“I honestly knew when I was in kindergarten that I wanted to be an artist,” he said. “I didn’t know if I would ever be able to make a living from it, but I’ve been very fortunate as I’ve been able to pursue my passion for most of my life and make a decent living at it.”
Clark has worked part-time at the Penticton Art Gallery for many years, but spends most of his time painting and working on various projects across the South Okanagan.
His specialty is painting large murals.
Some of his most notable and recognizable work includes the exterior mural featuring huge grapes at the Penticton Visitor’s Centre and beautiful work on the La Casa Ouzenia Greek restaurant on Main Street in Penticton.
His artistic reputation is so strong Clark has been able to make a living in the South Okanagan for more than a quarter century.
“I don’t advertise and I’m not in the yellow pages, but I’m always busy, so I’m pretty lucky,” he said. “It seems like when I’m ready to finish one project, I get a call to do another one.
“It’s what I love to do, so I’m not complaining at all.”
In 1998, Clark began working with the defunct Penticton Vees senior hockey club to create a series of paintings depicting the team during its glory days in the mid-1950s.
In 1955, the Vees whipped the heavily favoured Russians 5-0 to take back the World Championship for Canada.
After exhibiting the work in 2000 at the Penticton Museum, Clark created a commissioned mural of the team on the Elks Hall in Penticton. The mural has been featured on Hockey Night in Canada twice.
His work is in the Collection of the Penticton Hockey School, Penticton Panther Hockey Club, Penticton Memorial Arena, and several other private and public collections.
Being able to do the project in Osoyoos with his daughter was a special thrill, said Clark.
“She’s just trying to get her art career off the ground and she’s a very talented artist in her own right, so I’m glad I was able to hire her to work on this project,” he said.
His daughter said working with her father is exciting.
“I don’t consider working in art as a job, but more of a passion,” she said. “I’ve admired my dad’s work for a long time and to be able to work with him on a big project like this is pretty special.”