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Ashcroft Chinatown

This Eight Foot painting honours the Chinese who came to Canada to have a better life, who worked hard to help develop Ashcroft and the Railway and who later became merchants, supplying our town with goods and services.  One such person was Charlie Aie, who together with his wife, created and ran the Ginger Store, beloved to all for their dried fruits as well as the White Rabbits.  Loyd and Renee Wongs were a large part of bringing this painting to reality with their stories and support.  Thank you also to the Lowe family.

This is what Ashcroft Chinatown looked like circa 1940.  For more info contact the Ashcroft Museum.

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This mosaic is the first in Ashcroft to be lighted so that it glows at night yet continues to look spectacular during the day.  It is a work of LOVE and all ideas came together through constant discussions with the St. Alban's congregation.  Most of the Mosaic circles were done by Daniel Collett and he also designed and created the beautiful framework that the piece exists within.  The dove was created by Marina Papais.  This piece took approximately six months to complete and the materials were funded by St. Alban's church.  All work, as in all pieces, is voluntary.

Here’s what we’ve been working on.

Stronger Together​

This Mosaic is a project Two years in the making.  It was inspired by the flooding of Cache Creek and the loss of our fire chief in the flood of 2016 as well as the Elephant Hill Fire of 2017 which devastated central British Columbia

First Train through Ashcroft circa 1885

It was Mayor Barbara Roden's idea that Marina and Daniel create a mosaic of the first train through Ashcroft.  The actual picture was so old that it was virtually impossible to blow it up in order to make the transition from picture to plywood possible.  Daniel and Marina laboured with drafting tools and long rulers and perspective points to recreate the picture provided by Barbara and the Museum but finally they were able to recreate a similar facsimile.  Once Marina completed drawings and painting, she and Daniel covered it with mosaics and stained glass.  

Mr. Van Horne rode the first train in to Ashcroft in the late 1800's. It brought Ashcroft to life, and the entire story can be discovered at our wonderful Museum curated beautifully by Kathy Paulos. Meanwhile this beautiful Mosaic is located at the Train Station building at Heritage Park in Ashcroft

Unitea Mosaic

This mosaic was a gift for Nadine for having the courage to open a tea shoppe in our little town. 

photo by Wendy Coomber 

Mosaic in the kitchen window at St. Alban's

Before this window, washing dishes meant looking out at the wall of the house next to the church.  Not inspiring.  Marina made this window and Daniel installed it before anyone knew what was happening.  Since then the view has improved!

photo by Wendy Coomber

Four Windows at the Entrance of St. Alban's Church

Magic Happens.  These windows make up the map of the Jerusalem Area but it was not the artist's intention.  It just happened.

Community Futures 

Celebrating 30 years in Ashcroft

Community Futures led by Deb Arnott has been such a wonderful support for the Mosaics in Ashcroft.  They created a mosaic map in 2016-17 and have created a new map ready for the spring and summer of 2019 with funding from the Village of Ashcroft.  Marina and Daniel created this bench to commemorate the 30th year that Community Futures has worked for Ashcroft.  Thank You for all you do for our town! 

Karen Bryson paid for the materials to create this bench which Marina and Daniel volunteered to make.  The bench was then installed at the Ashcroft Legion as Duncan was a participating member

photo by Wendy Coomber

Chinese Cemetery Bench

The Tsui family paid for materials for this bench and all art and labour was donated.  Marina designed it and with Patricia Denis and Andrea Walker created the mosaics.  Daniel Collett designed the bench and made it with help from Pache Denis.  Bruce Walker helped with the installation.

photo by Wendy Coomber

Many Hands to Fill a Community with Love

Marina and Daniel worked with the community to create this bench in memory of Duncan Bryson and as a tribute to St. Alban's Church.  Karyn Bryson paid for the materials and helped with the mosaics as did other community members.  This bench graces the grounds of the church.

photo by Wendy Coomber

Enjoying a drink outside the Wing Chong Tai Store

Marina's drawing taken from a photo circa 1940, Ashcroft

Marina immediately fell in love with this iconic photo of seven men enjoying a drink in front of the Wing Chong Tai in Ashcroft circa 1940.  For one reason or another these men were not at war as were so many others. The man standing is Henry Chow, the store owner's son.  The other men sitting include Dutch Barra, the Maudrell Brothers, Gerry Rodford, Sonny Johnson and Alex McLeod.  Many stories still circulate about these men which flesh out the actual history of Ashcroft.  Kathy Paulos at the Museum can fill you in on many such stories.  This image fascinated Marina so much that she recreated it for the Harmony Bell Project. At one time in Ashcroft, the Chinese settlers made up half of the businesses in Ashcroft.  They provided goods and services for all and were a mainstay of our business community.

First Light

Franes family photo at the Ashcroft Slough, 2018

Marina and Hanna Franes co-directed the creation of this beautiful outdoor piece of mosaic glass art that lives outside Quality Glass in Ashcroft.  The pink mountains reflect a heavenly experience that is a daily occurrence for approximately 8 minutes every morning in Ashcroft, as the first light hits our mountains.  This is the second outdoor mosaic in Ashcroft that is done on glass substrate instead of plywood.  The light through this piece on a sunny day is something to be experienced!

Helping our Businesses Glow in Mosaics

Pam Aie from Revelations wanted a sign for her store.  We refused to sell her one but we offered to show her how to do mosaics and she could help us make a sign for her store and pay for her materials.  She was ecstatic about learning mosaics and within several months we created this beautiful sign that now lives in front of her store.  Daniel offered to make the frame to suit the historic style of Ashcroft and he also installed it for Pam.  

​Adding A Glow to our Safety Mart Sign

In order to afford to create the mosaics in Ashcroft, we have needed to be creative in our thinking.  Marina wanted to support the 4H with drawings and mosaics, so in order to be able to pay for materials, she and Daniel offered Ed Lee from the Safety Mart a deal on his sign in trade for supporting the 4H Club of Ashcroft.  With that agreed upon, we had enough funding to buy materials to create two mosaics for the 4H Club, while redoing the Safety Mart Sign in Mosaics.  In all, three new mosaics were created and many community members helped in brightening up our community, while supporting shopping locally and supporting our young agrarians and future Farmers / Ranchers.  

Winds of Change

Original artist: Royden Josephson

Interpretation done in 2017 by Marina Papais with help from Daniel Collett and community members

Royden Josephsen designed the artwork that this piece was inspired by.  Local Community members, John and Karen Savage asked Marina and Daniel if they would consider doing a piece of Royden Josephson's work for the town.  They agreed to pay for the materials and help with installation . Marina and Daniel agreed to volunteer their time to create this piece from Royden's work.  She was pleased that Royden appreciated the attention to detail that Marina showed in recreating this beautiful piece of art. This is a testament to the value of community members working together. 

Phoenix Rising

original was painted by Pauline Ogilvie, Interpreted by Marina Papais

Community Futures led by Deb Arnott proposed that we do a mosaic for their building north side and they willingly provided the materials costs if we would volunteer the process.  We decided it would be wonderful to show the world some of the amazing artists we have in this town. Marina's personal favourite local Artists being Pauline Ogilvie and Royden Josephson.  The above mosaic is an interpretation of a painting done by Pauline and burned in an Ashcroft fire circa 1980s.  Ashcroft has had a number of significant fires in her past, so this painting is a tribute to a town that continues to rise like a Phoenix from the Ashes.

Ashcroft HUB Donor Wall, 2018

The point of Public Art, from our point of view, is to build connections and a sense of belonging, through art, into the community.  This gorgeous donor wall plaque was build by and for the community to honour all the volunteers that make our HUB in Ashcroft as wonderful and vibrant as it is.

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Autumn at the Ashcroft Slough

David Reid lives in Ashcroft and photographs our beautiful village and surroundings.  David enhanced this particular picture of the Ashcroft Slough and allowed Daniel and Marina to recreate it for the Village of Ashcroft to enjoy.  It now lives on the Associated Electric Building in A​shcroft.  This piece was funded by Marina and Daniel

Autumn at the Ashcroft Slough

This piece took approximately four hundred hours to recreate but the results were worth the time.  It now lives on the Ashcroft Associated Electric building and is enjoyed by all.

2017 Elephant Hill Fire

Tribute to our local First Responders

Depicted in this large Mosaic, recreated from a photo taken by Scott Kellington , shows young men taking a break as the fire finally overtook the barn where they saved 200 cows from being burned alive.   Some of these young men are standing in this picture.  This is an homage to the firefighters and first responders in our community who volunteer endlessly and without expectation, to keep us all safe.  Glass, studio and art time was donated my Marina and Daniel.  Other materials were donated by the Kinvig and Kellington families.  Many hands went into creating this beautiful Mosaic.  Thank you to Ed and Marianne Lee from Safety Mart for letting us hang this piece on their building.

Seven Men in front of the Wing Chong Tai, circa 1940

drawing by Marina Papais

 mosaics by Daniel Collett, Marina, Hiroko, Lisa and other community members

This  Mosaic is hanging on the side of the Safety Mart in Ashcroft.  Thank you Ed and Marianne Lee.  

For Marina, this picture found in The Bittersweet Oasis, was one of her favourites as it seemed an iconic view of the historic town of Ashcroft.

The above two drawings are what has been drawn in the windows of the drawing above it.  Marina found these images in the Bittersweet Oasis and realized they would fit well.  The one is the owner of the Wing Chong Tai and his two sons and the other is the inside of the Icecream Parlor.

Marina loved this drawing so much that she recreated it again for the Harmony Bell Project.  

Female Canners from Ashcroft Cannery Circa 1930

The picture that this came from was a 3 inch by 3 inch grainy photo taken circa 1930 from a browning box camera.  It was impossible to blow this picture upend get a clear picture, as the resolution was so low that the entire picture pixilated.  But we managed to get the basic shape of where all the women stood or sat and from there Marina laboured to recreate the photo one image and one square inch at a time.  The drawing of this piece took months but the rewards thereafter are well worth it.

In interviewing people of the town about the cannery and about these women in particular, few knew of any here but some names did occur as possibilities.  It was said of the female cannery workers that they were like a community or family unto themselves and their close bonds were extremely evident. 

Kathy Paulos of the Ashcroft Museum was extremely helpful in supplying old cannery labels for this project.  In doing so, eight were chosen and in addition to this, it became evident how popular our canned goods were to Canadians.  We have the perfect climate for tomatoes, squash, pumpkin and potatoes.  In fact, our potatoes were known throughout Canada as being the largest and the best.  We supplied the railways which brought our product far and wide.

On investigating the cannery, the question of why it is no longer here reoccurred often.  For answers to this it is worth going to our Ashcroft Museum where a story is waiting to be told

Female Canners at the Ashcr​oft Cannery circa 1930

Kathy Paulos of the Ashcroft Museum supplied Marina with a three by three inch image of these fifteen women, taken by a box camera circa 1930.   This work honours the spirit and dedication these women had towards one another and their jobs at the Ashcroft cannery.  It is said they were like a large family and took care of one another.  It is obvious from this picture.  One has to wonder what happened to the cannery and why are we not producing tomatoes, potatoes and pumpkins as we once did.  The eight labels are from some of the companies that canned our produce here in Ashcroft.

Sister City Synergy

This Mosaic directed by Marina was a compilation of the work of Kazuhari Nagaki of Bifuka, Japan and Royden Josephson of Ashcroft.   Josephson created the beautiful underwork design in a mural painted in Bifuka Japan some years ago.  We married the work of Nagaki with Josephson's work for this incredibly beautiful mosaic that now graces the north wall of the TNRD Library in Ashcroft.  This work is a tribute to the relationship of our town of Ashcroft with its sister city, Bifuka in Japan.  This work was completed in 2017 in the PapaisCollett Mosaic Studio at the HUB  in Ashcroft.

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Thank You for Shopping Locally

Marina and Daniel wanted to support the idea of shopping locally and supporting our community in every way possible.  The funding for this piece came by way of Marina and Daniel as well as Ed Lee from the Safety Mart.  Members of the 4H Club supported the building of this large Mosaic and added their many hands to making this plea to the community a reality.  Thank you to our wonderful community for helping spread this important message. Again, thank you to the Rotary and CIB members and Safety Mart Staff for helping install this piece.

Thank You for Shopping Locally

community project circa 2017-18

Marina Papais Artistic Director

This beautiful Large Mosaic covers the Northwest corner of the Safety Mart.  This Project was a gift from Ed and Marianne Lee of the Safety Mart as well as the 4H Club in conjunction with Marina and Daniel.  The 4H community got together, old and young, to create this beautiful piece of art that encourages us all to think and shop locally.  Marina drew the image of the cornucopia from the imagery of AG Foods, adding a community feel.  The project was alot of fun for all.

Community Art joyfully being created by the 4H Club of Ashcroft

The making of the Mosaic

"Thank You for Shopping Locally"

Tribute to 4H Club, Ashcroft, British Columbia

This piece was drawn and mosaics were applied in tribute to our 4H Club of Ashcroft, which Marina and Daniel support enthusiastically.  Hats go off to Monte Kinvig for all the work he has done to keep this club afloat over the years.   This mosaic is also in tribute to Jim Houghton who has shown with the 4H Club of Canada for over 60 years now.  He is pictured on the top of this mosaic.  Congratulations to all that work so hard to educate our youth on caring for animals, and all aspects of agrarian life. You can find this piece hanging on the North wall of the Home Hardware building.

At the point of Birth

A Wonder to be Explored

This image was captured at the point of birth of a calf.  The children, who belong to 4H Club in Ashcroft, are able to experience the wonder of birth as well as the love of Mother Cow and new born Calf.  These are experiences children will not forget.  It is a pleasure for Marina to recapture this moment in her drawings, which have become part of a larger piece of Mosaic Art hanging outside the Home Hardware Building in Ashcroft.

some closeups of drawings on the 4H Club Mosaic Project

located on the north side of the Home Hardware Building

An Amazing Moment Captured

This wonderful portrait of Calum loving his animal started way back when he was first introduced to the miracle of birth. In this picture Calum continues to work with animals daily as shown here, when he was 4 years old.  Calum's fascination for animals has been fondly nurtured by his entire family and especially his great grandfather, Monte Kinvig who runs the 4H Club in Ashcroft.  

Sneak Peek at the Japanese Internment Mosaic of Ashcroft

After nearly a year of compiling ideas and pictures and stories and poetry we have come together collectively to express the Japanese Canadian view of the Internment of World War II, going forward in 2019.  The poetry written by Aki Kanamaru, on the left, expresses the sentiment that Generosity of Spirit creates a Spirit of Forgiveness moving Forward.  The theme of the Birds of Passage was inspired by Linda Ohama's iconic artwork Watari-Dori, a piece that inspired a generation going through the Redress which culminated in 1988 with a Document signed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.  The images on the top left are of some of our own Japanese Canadians who served Canada during the wars.  The images on the bottom right are a compilation of pictures from archives of Japanese Canadians who were removed from their homes with a few hours notice and immediately sent to Internment Camps simply because their ancestry was Japanese.  Our hope, moving forward, is that we take lessons from the past, careful to not repeat the same mistakes.

Communities in Bloom Projects

It has been our joy and privilege to help Communities in Bloom help our community bloom.  We opened our studio to members of the CIB, taught them how to create mosaics and helped put the three mosaics together for the project that is now in our Heritage Park  as well as the tribute to Canada's 150.  Marina designed the desert rose as well as the day lily.  Together with the CIB logo, Patricia Denis and Andrea Walker and Marina and Daniel created the three four by four foot pieces that are housed in a structure designed by Daniel Collett and built by Daniel, Pache Denis, Bruce Walker and other wonderful community volunteers.  Working together we can do great things.

Photo by Wendy Coomber

Ashcroft Slough Mosaic

First Outdoor Mosaic in Ashcroft, 2014-15

Ashcroft's first outdoor mosaic art piece was created by Marina and Daniel and Wendy Weibe who owns the Wellness Center that it adorns. Many hands came together to create this piece.  Angie Bandelli donated all the old metal farm pieces and Chris Holloway welded them in place.  Chris also helped with gathering and placing the driftwood we collected from our riverside. Angela Bandelli donated the metal chains and pieces found on farms in the area, some of them stamp dated in the 1800's.  Many community members lent their time and their hands to hang this art and there is a sense of communal pride and achievement that persists to this day with what we created together.

The first public mosaic in Ashcroft was created with materials and labour donated by community members.  There was no money received for this project but together we did this and from here it all started.

photo by Wendy Coomber

First Mosaic on Rolgear Building

Marina at work in her home studio 2014

Before the HUB existed, Marina and Daniel worked at home on their projects including the three mosaics on the Rolgear building as well as the Dragon that now lives in the Chinese Cemetery.  On this day Wendy Coomber, who then was a councillor for Ashcroft and worked at the Journal, took this series of photos.

AY Jackson's painting of "Ashcroft" Sept, 1945

Two versions of the same painting

The version of this painting by AY Jackson to the left was the first interpretation done by Marina and Daniel in 2014-15 . 

The version below was done several years later.  Note the differences.

The significance of this particular interpretation is that the very famous painter, AY Jackson actually came to our humble town and painted several paintings and drew a number of sketches as well.  It is interesting to note that a second AY Jackson painting of Ashcroft is up in the Interpretation Center in Barkersville.

the above 5 photos are by Wendy Coomber

Tribute to A.Y. Jackson who's work entitled "Ashcroft", was created "En Plein Aire" 

 on September 6, 1945

In 2014-15 Marina and Daniel approached the Village of Ashcroft about an idea to fill the town with mosaic art and they presented a power point.  The idea was enthusiastically greeted by the councillors and there was talk about going ahead with a first project.  However, it wasn't until the HUB opened in April of 2016 that Marina and Daniel found a space to work in, a space that could accommodate community members' participation.  However, while awaiting a studio space in town, Marina and Daniel created a number of pieces at their home studio, which they erected in Ashcroft on private buildings.  The first such structure was the  "Ashcroft Slough" piece erected at Wendy Weibe's Wellness Center.  The second, third and fourth pieces were erected on the historic Wing Chong Tai building now owned by Angie Bandelli and Rob Suter.  This piece above was the second AY Jackson piece created by Marina and Daniel. 

We as a town are honoured that AY Jackson came to this town and painted "Ashcroft" (September 6, 1945) of which this interpretation was created in homage to the wonderful Canadian Iconic painter belonging to the famous Group of Seven.

The magic of light on glass happens in many ways.  This photo taken by Wendy Coomber explores a detail of light during the process of the first AY Jackson mosaic interpretation.

In the beginning of Mosaics in Ashcroft it was the Rolgear people who believed in the vision that Daniel and Marina had for this town.  The Rolgear owners Angela Bandelli and Robert Suter housed the first three mosaics for Ashcroft that were created in the new studio  housed in the HUB of Ashcroft circa 2016.  It was  humble beginnings for the PapaisCollett Mosaic Studio.   Eventually the town began to see the possibilities of Marina and Daniel's vision of Mosaics being a vehicle to bring interest to our town.

 Now we have many mosaics and a tour is available with maps at the Info center, the Community Futures Building and other outlets.  Thank you to Community Futures and the Village of Ashcroft for the maps.

The above left mosaic is entitled "St. Cloud" which was is the first name given to Ashcroft in 1860 when it was an established camp.  The second mosaic is of an AY Jackson drawing of our main street.  The third mosaic, to the right, is the first interpretation of AY Jackson's painting entitled "Ashcroft".

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