Graffiti artist transforms new West Flat skate park

Artist Justin Enns poses next to his graffiti work at the new West Flat skate park on May 28. The 33-year-old described the project as his breakthrough. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

“The kids are pretty excited about it. They come by almost every day and they seem to like the artwork, which is encouraging to hear.”

– Justin Enns, graffiti artist

A new skate park at Prince Albert’s Parkland Hall went from being plain charcoal grey to covered in colourful artwork in the matter of a month.

The graffiti is the work of artist Justin Enns from Warman, which is about an hour and a half south of Prince Albert.

When relatives introduced Enns to Canadian Tire Owner Malcom Jenkins—who funded the park—Enns was grateful that Jenkins hired him to transform it.

The two collaboratively came up with the design, which is inspired by skate park art you would see in big cities incorporated with symbols of Canadian heritage.

“I tried to do a little bit of research on that to incorporate some of those elements as well because that’s part of our heritage, so I liked to incorporate that in subtle ways as much as I could. In addition, just bright colours and exploring different colour combinations and contrasts,” explained Enns.

Artist Justin Enns at the new West Flat skate park on May 28. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

On Tuesday, he had almost completed the outer walls and was working on spray painting the equipment.

The park includes different styles of phrases like ‘Alfred’s Skate Park’ and ‘Prince Albert’ along with more detailed images like a wolf, an eagle and even a queen on a skateboard.

In order to to paint fine details, Enns said he either uses a paintbrush or changes the paint can’s cap to one that covers a small area.

Enns said he’s been doing art for most of his life. He mainly did sketches as a kid, but widened his range when he worked towards a bachelor’s degree in visual art and started painting.

“I kind of dabbled in graffiti art, sketches, but nothing on this scale. This is a much bigger exploration of the medium for me personally. I’ve never had an opportunity to do something this big with graffiti, but it was great. I’d love to continue if I could.”

Artist Justin Enns spray paints the final pieces of equipment at the new West Flat skate park on May 28. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

He’s been working on the park since the beginning of May and planning with Jenkins since March.

While Enns took inspiration from Jenkins’ ideas, he said the art adheres to his style: “There was still quite a bit of room where I could explore my own creativity.”

Several people leaned over the edge of the walls to peek at Enns’ progress.

“The kids are pretty excited about it. They come by almost every day and they seem to like the artwork, which is encouraging to hear and they’re excited to use the skate equipment, so at this point I’m trying to finish up as quick as I can so they can get in,” he said.

The doors are currently chained up until Enns finishes the last step of sealing the paint with a clear coat.

Jenkins said the skate park is expected to open this weekend.