Victoria mural artist makes a splash downtown with nod to ’70s

Victoria mural artist makes a splash downtown with nod to '70s

A Victoria-based artist is adding some nostalgia to a downtown restaurant’s patio by airbrushing colourful, larger-than-life murals with a nod to the ’70s.

“I like to spread positive messages in a time like today,” said Paul Archer, the self-proclaimed mural artist extraordinaire who’s busy painting portraits of stars like John Lennon and Tina Turner outside Belleville’s Watering Hole & Diner.

“Basically, the owner of Belleville’s here wanted to switch it up for the summer for tourists. Fortunately, it’s on panels, so we’re able to do another 12, 14 panels and change it up for the tourists and locals,” he told CHEK News Tuesday. 

“It’s all a ’70s theme.”

Archer says it should take about two weeks for him to finish the feat, which looks to create a fun, inviting atmosphere for patrons outside — though those inside will likely recognize his work as well.

“A lot of the tabletops inside have got my designs on them,” he said. “The owner is really crazy about doing fun things that bring memories back … We’re going with music and comedy, all uplifting and inspirational.”

In fact, that’s Archer’s signature style.

“Most of my murals are inspirational murals,” he explained. “All over B.C., I’ve got some that are 10-storeys high and some that are one-and-a-half-storeys high. My little puppy and I travel from town to town.”

Already this year, Archer’s kept busy painting a massive mural of Jenna Ortega’s Wednesday Addams and another honouring Alfred “The Flowerman” Sillem, a Victoria florist who passed away in March.


Next he’s hitting the road, telling CHEK News in an interview that he’s travelling all over to complete murals and leave his mark on Western Canada.

Where’s he going first?

“Grand Forks, where I’ve got 91 murals already — more than Chemainus, by the way,” laughed Archer. “I’ve done over 100 murals up in the Kootenays and in the mountains and whatnot. I’m excited.”

He’s also got changes coming to his gallery at 847 Fort St. in Victoria.

“I’ve got my art gallery opening up Canada Day under new management … so I’m staying super busy getting that happening and taking off on my trip at the same time,” he added. “I’ve got more (murals at the gallery).”

How does Archer do it all?

“I don’t get a whole lot of sleep. I think it’s a little overrated anyways.”

(Photo: CHEK News)

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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