iN PHOTOS: Broody steampunk murals bring strange vibe to new Kamloops nightclub
The owner of the new Nightshift on Fifth nightclub in Kamloops is using large, edgy art pieces to change the theme of the interior space.
Formerly Cactus Jack’s, the venue had a cowboy theme throughout but new owner David Pup Johnston is changing that one corner at a time.
“Cowboys and robots is steampunk,” he said. “I’m putting a lot of this kind of art up along with changing some fixtures to reflect the theme.”
Two well-known, experienced creative artists in the city, Stace DeWolf and Kelly Wright, worked hard alongside Johnston to bring his ideas to life. DeWolf’s pieces are at the main entrance and along a back wall, while Wright’s bring life to a dark corner near the exit.
“We found this picture online and let Stace do his own interpretation of it, it is a weird city in the sky,” Johnston said about the mural closest to the entrance. “In the original piece there are two giant spiders attacking the towers. We opted to keep the giant spiders off but might add them later.
“The other thing we wanted to do is have a flotilla of airships in the background.”
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that portrays retro-futuristic technology and aesthetics inspired by 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery. Works are often set in an alternative history of the Victorian era or the American Wild West where steam remained in use, or in a fantasy world that similarly uses steam power.
Another mural by DeWolf is of two robots that Johnston described as “pretty cool” and “poignant."
“This is from another picture we found on the internet,” he said. “It takes a bit to look into it, there is a lot in this one. And this is not typical of Stace’s work, his work is more like modern art. He stepped out of his comfort zone to do this and has been very accommodating and committed.”
The mural has a male and female robot fighting each other and the female is winning.
“You can see the little alien that is driving the robot has popped the lid and they are going to go at it,” he said. “The other robot is falling apart, his eye is closing and his alien is abandoning ship.”
Artist Kelly Wright is known in Kamloops for outdoor murals among other creative works of art.
“Kelly Wright contributed a steampunk octopus that has metal and gears, and some more gears, he did this sort of fish scale thing down the octopus’s legs,” Johnston said. “He painted the house and it took a lot of work. He uses spray paint and so had to take things apart, let them dry, and put them back together.”
Beyond the robot mural are three classic pieces by DeWolf created with his singular, distinctive style.
When asked why he chose the steampunk theme for his nightclub, Johnston said he wanted something “brooding, dark, disturbing and edgy.”
— this article was changed at 8:41 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 19 to correct the subject's last name
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