What’s better than seeing art in a gallery or museum? Viewing art on the streets, of course! I’m not sure why I missed the first Vancouver Mural Festival last year, but I’m glad I didn’t miss this year’s festival and I’ll be sure not to again. There were 60 new murals that were unveiled this time. Most of the murals are concentrated in the Mount Pleasant area of Vancouver with a few murals in Strathcona.
Seeing all the one-of-a-kind murals made me wonder where Vancouver’s talented artists have been hiding all this time. It’s hard to believe that Vancouver has more artists per capita than any other Canadian city when this city has very little public art to show for it.
After visiting Montreal last fall, I would have thought a greater concentration of artists were located there based on all the murals and public art installations I saw. Walking throughout the city was a treat. I loved finding murals plastered on the sides of otherwise drab buildings and in hideaway nooks that nobody would give a second glance. Many of the metro stations are covered in murals and art installations. And at night, the city is lit up with video projections on brick walls in empty parking lots. Everywhere you go, you’re bound to run into a piece of art.
I’m glad to see more street art going up in Vancouver, but more is needed and not just in one or two neighborhoods. Murals can really revive old parts of the city and boost residents’ morale. Vancouverites often complain about the drab and rainy winters. We can’t change the weather, but we can improve the way our city looks.
Below are some of the murals and street art I captured during the festival. Click the image to view a larger version.