Paint the City Positive


Eric Dyck will travel to Medicine Hat to colour the sidewalks with chalk during mental health event.

From childhood sketches, to attending college as an adult, and now traveling from province to province, and city to city to create art in public, Eric Dyck will make his fifth appearance in Medicine Hat. This year, it’s for the Paint the City Positive initiative led by Canadian Mental Health Association.

On Saturday, April 30, 2022, Dyck will colour the sidewalks at the Visitor Information Centre (330 Gehring Rd. SW) and community members of all ages are invited to add art to this small section of the city with the Alberta-based artist. 

“I’m really happy to be getting out and making art in front of people again. It’s my process; it’s how I hear stories and how I learn. It’s also important to me to let art happen, mistakes and all, in front of people so they see this isn’t a magical fairy dust talent people have. It’s a skill you work at, and that means there’s opportunity for others to learn and pick up this skill, too,” says Dyck.

When Dyck was young, finding mentors and classes wasn’t as accessible, so now he prioritizes including artists of all ages to join and learn from him during these events.

“As soon as people, especially children, see someone working on the pavement making something, they want to get in there too, and it’s really important to me to have free art materials available for the community when I’m making art in that city,” says Dyck.

There will be free chalk available to the community at the Visitor Information Centre throughout the week, and also on the day of Paint the City Positive. Dyck is no stranger to art events, and the Southeast Alberta-based artist has created art in places as far as the east coast. He once drove along Highway 3 and set up his drawing table at farmers markets to showcase his art and share his knowledge. 

“I really enjoy chalking in Medicine Hat, because there are colourful stories of history that jump out at me that a lot of the locals either forgot about or didn’t actually know,” says Dyck. “Creativity, and creative people, has been built right into Medicine Hat from the beginning, and I think that has to do with the clay and ceramic history. There’s threads that seem to connect to Medicine Hat, and it’s always been a creative hub in that way.”

Dyck says the surrounding nature and animals have sparked inspiration during past events he’s attended in the city. He says there’s certainly no shortage of special critters in Medicine Hat, and last time he chalked, pronghorns were the topic of discussion. The full-time artist of over 20 years says comics and cartoons are his way of storytelling.

“Drawing comics and telling stories with pictures has always been for me,” says Dyck. “I primarily make non-fiction comic strips and cartoons now. Lots of my comics have focused on Southern Alberta for the last nine years since I’ve moved back to the province.”

For those who want to learn and see more of Dyck’s art, he will be at the Visitor Information Centre on Saturday, April 30, 2022. 

“I just know that, weather permitting, I am looking forward to safely being out in public, making pictures, and being able to share stories with Medicine Hat again,” says the artist.

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