A man of many artistic talents

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/03/2021 (562 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I first met James Culleton at the unveiling of a mural he painted in shades of blue and white, depicting special people and activities of the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre at Syd Glow Place.

This non-profit organization has become a popular fixture in Winnipeg’s North End and caters to the needs of the area’s older population. Once called The Golden Age Club, it was organized in the 1940s and finally found its “forever home” in 1988, at the former tire store at Smithfield Avenue and Main Street.

Culleton, 47, says he and Gwen Secter program co-ordinator Dan Saidman put their heads together to create the design of the mural, a historic document that covers the south wall of the building. Saidman was well aware of the artist’s skill, as Culleton was once artist-in-residence at an art gallery Saidman operated many years ago.

Supplied photo Multi-disciplinary artist, designer and musician James Culleton created the mural on the south wall of the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre.

The talented painter’s biggest mural was a 60×500-foot birch tree forest for Club Regent Casino. His latest work was a “snofa” for Festival du Voyageur, a snow sculpture of a sofa with the head of a bison. He’s also proud of a 25-foot tall moose of plywood, rope and LED lights that he made for the Zoo Lights festival at Assiniboine Park.

The multi-media artist described another sculpture of a galloping horse – a creation of rope and lights, which he says is a simple animation. The versatile artisan, who is much in demand, has also designed many unusual trophies for groups around the city.

A professional artist and master craftsman for the past 20 years, Culleton’s art has been exhibited across Canada. He’s also an award-winning furniture designer and has created works for Palliser and La-Z-Boy. A future project will encompass furniture designs for the Property Brothers of HGTV fame.

Culleton was born in Winnipeg and educated at the University of Manitoba,where he earned a fine arts degree. He’s a family man with a teenage son and daughter and he’s also a musician who writes his own songs, and just released an album called Unusual Friendships. Backed by a local band, he sings French translations of children’s folk stories written by his aunt, Beatrice Mosionier, one of Canada’s famous writers.

Presently, Culleton is teaching an online drawing class for Gwen Secter seniors. In the past, he has taught classes for the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Forum Art Centre and has done live painting at The Forks.

Culleton said he’s been doing a lot of online activities during the COVID-19, which doesn’t faze him one bit, as he says he usually spends a lot of time working on his own, but admits that he misses the social contacts.

Freda Glow is a community correspondent for the North End.

Freda Glow

Freda Glow
North End community correspondent

Freda Glow is a community correspondent for the North End.

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