Island Lake with blades of green grass in the front on a nice sunny day

Special art project unveiled to celebrate Blues and Jazz

May 31, 2017 | Arts and Culture News | General

A stunning piece of art has been unveiled at First Street and Broadway in downtown Orangeville to honour the provincial award-winning Blues and Jazz Festival in its 15th year of operation.

Entitled “The Thrill is Gone”, the art piece depicts the King of the Blues, B.B. King, and is the first utility box art to be unveiled in Orangeville in 2017. This particular utility box art project was sponsored by Meridian Credit Union, in partnership with the Town of Orangeville.

The late B.B. King was one of the most prolific and beloved entertainers of the last 60 years. After cutting his first record in1949, he performed almost continually – with more than 300 shows per year – and with some of the top entertainers. “The Thrill is Gone” is symbolic not only as a hit song but also of how fans feel about his passing.

It’s only fitting that the artwork was created by local performer Larry Kurtz – the founder and artistic director of the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival. Mr. Kurtz is a soulful, bluesy, singer, songwriter and harmonica player. He started out singing in church as a young boy, and began playing harmonica at the age of 15. He was named Blues Booster of the Year at the 2015 Maple Blues Awards.

In addition to being a long-time musician and lead singer of the award-winning Trouble and Strife Blues Band, his passion for the Blues is so profound he wanted to celebrate it with his community. Hence, he became the driving force for the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival. Larry studied Media Arts at Sheridan College and along with his talent as a musician and artist, he is a fine craftsman and the owner of Kurtz Architectural Millworks in Orangeville.

The Utility Box Art Display Program provides local artists with the opportunity to submit unique artwork for installation on selected Town utility boxes using a custom vinyl wrap process. Winning 2017 submissions will be unveiled in June. The program is an initiative of the Orangeville Arts and Culture Committee and is curated by committee member and local artist Ken Hall.

Utility Box artwork of BB King revealed to celebrate Blues and Jazz festival

Just in time for the June 1-4, 2017 Blues and Jazz Festival, the Arts and Culture Committee unveiled a piece of art depicting the King of the Blues B.B. King on a utility box at Broadway and First Street. Entitled “The Thrill is Gone”, and painted by artist Larry Kurtz, this is the first utility box art to be unveiled in Orangeville in 2017. This particular utility box art project was sponsored by Meridian Credit Union, in partnership with the Town of Orangeville. At the unveiling are Councillor Sylvia Bradley and Ken Hall, both members of the Arts and Culture Committee, artist Larry Kurtz, and Meridian Credit Union Branch Manager Glen Travers.