VIDEO: Mother – and daughter – keep transforming Langley City a mural at a time

City artist Judy Pohl creates an alley-themed painting on the walls of downtown businesses.

A Pokemon and a pair of local felines have been snuck into Langley City’s newest outdoor mural.

Maddie Pohl’s mother might have been the one commissioned to paint the latest laneway murals in the centre of the City, but the 14-year-old teen secretly infused a little of herself and what is important to her.

It came in the form of a hidden game icon for Pokemon Go fans, plus her two family cats – Dexter and Spencer. She managed to paint the better part of both cats while her mom was away in – in just under 15 minutes.

“Needless to say, this was not in the original plan,” Judy Pohl said with a laugh, recounting this surprise her daughter delivered last month, while Judy was working on a month-long effort to revitalize an alleyway parking lot next to McBurney Plaza.

She even pulled in four people to assist with this endeavour, to help paint the red brick walls and blue sky that make up a big part of her mural.

The walls of two buildings have bene transformed into a green alleyway from Quebec.

Initially, dozens of ideas were tossed around for what should be painted. They included dinosaurs, giraffes, and astronauts. But ultimately, the selection committee chose to recreate the concept of green alleys – complete with a windmill and some planter beds that are accurate to some of the Montreal laneways.

The goal was to make this transitional space more inviting, safe, and family friendly for Langley residents and visitors, said the City’s communication officer Samantha Paulson.

The “laneway activation initiative,” as it has been dubbed, is one of four downtown initiatives approved and undertaken by Langley City council this year.

Other initiatives include McBurney Plaza activities, pilot evening activities, and the pilot parklet program, she added.

The completed mural was unveiled Wednesday, but Pohl said that while it’s 95 per cent finished, she’ll sneak back in the spring to add a few more details.

This was Pohl’s fifth mural in downtown Langley, to date.

Asked of her favourite part of this mural, the Langley City resident – who makes her living painting murals, chalkboards, windows, and signs – said it is a small rusty tricycle incorporated into the image.

Asked which is her favourite mural in Langley, she admitted to falling in love with one she painted in the spin room at Timms Community Centre, second best being a painting she did this summer at the entrance of All of Oils.

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

But each mural has a little part of her in them. And this one and a bee mural she painted this summer on nearby Salt Lane, offer a little something special from her daughter, as well.

Asked what’s next, Judy said she’s in the midst of her “crazy season,” painting Christmas windows all over the Lower Mainland.

When that’s done, she’s planning to embark on an Alzheimer’s tribute. “Something that makes me cry,” Judy said, noting it’s a project for a close friend.

READ: Langley City mural maker brings personal project to life at festival


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