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Vancouver Mural Festival colours outside the lines

Friday 12th, August 2016 / 14:28
By Noor Khwaja
Artwork: Andrea Wan

Artwork: Andrea Wan

VANCOUVER — Vancouver’s art scene is about to be revamped in a big way as Vancouver Mural Festival commences its inaugural year in the city. Beginning on August 20, over 30 artists will be painting sizable murals in the False Creek and Mount Pleasant areas. With a buzzing art community and culture already established, the festival’s primary goal is to expand appreciation and opportunity for public art in Vancouver. Genevieve Anne Michaels from Burrard Arts Foundation explains that “An increased amount of public art will bring notoriety and…attention to the art scene here, elevating it closer to the levels of a larger city like New York or LA.”

Curator and artist Drew Young reveals that the city is lacking a concrete public art forum and hopes that this event will help to establish one. “There are heaps of empty walls around,” he continues, and this event will, in a very literal sense, “fill the gap” in the city’s public art scene. 90 per cent of these artists are local, including Peter Ricq, Akews, Kyle J. Scott, and Dedos, keeping within the festival’s goal to promote homegrown talent and create increasing opportunities for the visionaries behind it.

There are also some visiting artists, like Berlin-based, Vancouver-raised Andrea Wan, Switzerland’s Nevercrew, and France’s KASHINK, participating in VMF. Michaels says that the international additions contribute “Diversity and excitement” to the festival, as well as further promote our own creatives as out-of-town fans and friends draw their attention to the city.

Accompanying the large-scale mural art, BAF will be hosting a gallery exhibition of submitted works from the muralists in a smaller format, which will run until August 27. Closer to the festival date in mid August, the building itself will act as a canvas, having its exterior covered in murals. This is “A great way to start counting down and get the city excited about the VMF through a fun show and event,” Michaels says.

VMF is a perfect example of simultaneously supporting community and art. After its first year, hopefully the festival can continue to annually add culture, diversity, and artistic expression to the city’s sometimes bare walls.

Vancouver Mural Festival runs until August 27 at Burrard Arts Foundation and at various locations throughout Mount Pleasant and False Creek.

Cutline: Artists descend on Mount Pleasant and False creek to turn it into their own giant coloring book.

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