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Mural Local artist


Norman Yates // 1967

acrylic paint on plaster
Stanley A. Milner Library

Photo by Laughing Dog Photography

Created by Alberta artist Norman Yates in 1967, the 160-square foot untitled mural is the only known surviving artwork in Edmonton’s Public Art Collection commissioned for Canada’s Centennial. The mural is one of the artist’s sprawling, almost three-dimensional representations of the Canadian landscape, created by directly applying and incising plaster on the wall, and overlaying it with blue, yellow, and red. 

Yates drew inspiration for the mural from the Alberta landscape, conceived abstractly in linear rhythms accented by pictographic symbols. Swooping horizontals evoke the prairie winds, while the verticals suggest the more ordered patterns of contour plowing. According to the artist, the piece speaks to the energy and power inherent in both nature and man, interlocking the old with the new. 


In early 2017, the Edmonton Arts Council’s Conservation team embarked on their most ambitious project to-date: the removal, restoration, and re-installation of a 50-year-old, approximately 160 square foot mural created by Alberta artist Norman Yates. The untitled artwork was situated in the Stanley A. Milner Library’s Circulation Room (previously the Edmonton Room), but extensive renovations of the building meant that the artwork had to be removed and relocated or else it would be destroyed. Given the importance of Yates’ contribution to Edmonton’s art history, the decision was made to move it to a more public-facing home on the second floor of the new space. 

Click the links below to read a series on the YEG Arts blog that offers insight into this multi-year restoration.

Mission Mural Rescue
Part One
Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Stanley A. Milner Library