Sunday Evening Reflection: Untitled

The Vancouver Mural Festival commemorated its 5th Year of bringing art to the buildings of Vancouver.   In three weeks, from August 18 to September 7, artists from around the world came together to create over sixty murals in nine neighbourhoods.  

Vancouver Mural Festival 2020 embraced the power of art to give hope. During a time of global uncertainty, the 2020 Mural Artists proved that creativity brings us together as a community even when social distancing protocols have placed constraints on large gatherings.   While the annual Street Party was cancelled, there was an unmistakable current of excitement as 60 new murals came into being. 

The 2020 Festival has ended, but the murals remain, their bright colours and symbols reaching out to all passersby.  They join the illustrious “murals alumni” of past Festivals.

As I walked by the Murals in progress, I happened upon a 2019 Mural by SatOne, the artistic name of Rafael Gerlach.   Even though a year has passed, the mural retains a vibrancy that defied the natural elements of sun, wind, and rain.  It is as if the mural was painted only a few days before.

Vancouver Mural Festival’s vision is “to build a society which deeply values and prioritizes art and culture.” They accomplish this by creating “meaningful experiences that build connections between art and people.”

Art prompts a discussion, challenges us to view life through another person’s lens, and binds us to the overarching narrative of humanity.   Art influences our fundamental sense of self and encourages us to look at our place within community. 

Henry Spencer Moore,  best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art, said it best: “To be an artist is to believe in life.”   

“Vancouver Mural Festival is organized by Create Vancouver Society, a Registered Non-Profit dedicated to artistic and cultural development in the Lower Mainland. Through the creation of permanent large-scale public murals, we provide a platform for Vancouver’s diverse art scene to contribute to the city’s cultural legacy for years to come. Our annual festival takes place for a week in August in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, and we work throughout the year with neighbourhoods around the Lower Mainland to highlight the local culture and vibrance of their area.” Vancouver Mural Festival

49 Thoughts

  1. What an incredible project this is. I recently came across this quote: “The object of art is not to make scalable pictures. It is to save yourself….to make yourself alive…The point of being an artist is that you may live.” ~ Sherwood Anderson writing to his son as he set out to be an artist. What a gift those words are, and what a wonderful gift these murals are to the world. Thank you for sharing them even wider! 💛💚💙🧡

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh Liz, I had goosebumps reading that quote. The support and encouragement from father to son is heartening. Thank you. I am heading out, once the smoke clears, to go mural hunting. Artists remind us to celebrate our creative spirit. By the way, I love your new project – the yarn colour is extraordinary. Hugs coming your way.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Rebeca,
    thanks for giving us a little insight into your mural festival. Especially Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma love murals and big graffitis.
    I hope that the wind is changing so that you will not get the smoke of all the American fires anymore.
    With lots of love and hugs
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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    1. I am so very pleased that Siri and Selma loved the murals. I have found a mural especially for them by Animalitoland. I met up with the artist this past week. She was high up on a platform and I was on the ground but we were able to talk loudly to each other. The message that she wanted to convey was “presence” – expanding our emotional vocabulary. This is her website – I know that Siri and Selma will enjoy the murals that span the globe. http://animalitoland.com/

      The smoke continues to lay heavily on Vancouver, as if we are under a dense fog. I understand that the winds are shifting and will send the smoke over the mountains towards Alberta. Thank you for asking. Sending lots of love and hugs back your way to my dear friends, The Fab Four of Cley.

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      1. Thanks a lot, our dear friend Rebecca!
        Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma are VERY impressed. You wouldn’t believe it, they want such murals in our village as well.
        With lots of love to our dear friends
        The Fab Four of Cley
        🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the music and video. Resa was the one who introduced me to murals and mural artists. She is a very experienced Mural Treasure Hunter and knows where X marks the spot. Her instincts are uncanny. The best part about our blogging community is that we share knowledge and experience – and look for ways in which to bring joy to our world. Sending hugs your way.

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  3. Another Mural Festival, always interesting and pretty–a beautiful Vancouver idea. I find this one different to me. Some of the scenes look like fabric, I think it must be the texture of the wall behind the paining, but it gives added interest to the painting, almost like fabric on the wall. I am curious about the number 177. Thank you for sharing your walk through the festival, a very early morning experience for me as I start my day today.

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    1. The 177 is the address of the building. I thought that you would appreciate the abstract quality of the mural, which reminded me of a quilt brought together with pieces of silk material. The colours were vivid even after months of being in the open air. There are so many more Murals to see and I’m looking forward to walking the streets, once the smoke has cleared. I am glad that your enjoyed this post! Hugs and more hugs!

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  4. “Art prompts a discussion, challenges us to view life through another person’s lens, and binds us to the overarching narrative of humanity. Art influences our fundamental sense of self and encourages us to look at our place within community” — what a profound paragraph, Rebecca, amid a terrific post.

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  5. What an ongoing marvelous and generous custom to favour and encourage artists to introduce and expose their creations, in the open-air neighborhoods’ Mural Festival each year. Bravo to all the organizers and participants!

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    1. I look forward every year to the Vancouver Mural Festival, which is now going on to Year 6. This year, I have downloaded the app that gives the location and particulars of each mural. So I’m ready for a mural treasure hunt. I agree wholeheartedly, Jean-Jacques – Bravo to all the organizers and participants, especially when faced with the Covid19 situation. They adapted and prevailed. Art cannot be contained…

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. I was just viewing my photos of St. John’s Murals and will be featuring them in future posts. Mural Artists are amazing. They continue to paint, knowing that their artwork will be subject to all weather conditions and possibilities that buildings that hold their murals may be torn down to make way for new building projects.

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  6. Such a beautiful video, Rebecca. You made the mural seem so tactile, I wanted to reach out and touch it. How lovely is this! “Vancouver Mural Festival’s vision is “to build a society which deeply values and prioritizes art and culture.” They accomplish this by creating “meaningful experiences that build connections between art and people.” And that connection extends right across the world.

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    1. I agree – there connection extends right across the world. I follow many of these artists on Instagram and feel their exuberance coming through the screen. They wake us up, Gallivanta, as do poets and writers, to the potential of living with boldness and courage. P.S. I also think that our four-legged friends have that same kind of power!! Hugs!!

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  7. Wonderful colours, Rebecca; and the music (in your video) compliments so well.
    Artists are indeed a unique bunch! To live life with their inner view must be so captivating.
    I recall the one and only ‘chalk the walk’ event I happily stumbled across earlier this year opened my eyes to their world even more. There I saw such childlike exuberance in their manner, and particularly in their eyes, which held such joy.
    I’m hoping, as soon as there is a return to such ‘street events’, to get along and enjoy their world again; trusty camera in hand.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean when you wrote: “There I saw such childlike exuberance in their manner, and particularly in their eyes, which held such joy.” These street events life the spirits of an entire community. I am looking forward to heading out to take photos of the murals once all the smoke clears and the air quality returns to normals. Thank you so much for your comments and visit. Very much appreciated.

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  8. A tour of a mural, love it!
    It is a very hope giving work of art.
    Love the music you put with it, and I look forward to seeing what the festival came up with. So wonderful, thank you, Rebecca!
    Big colourful HUG!

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      1. Ahh, I have covered many a Winnipeg mural.
        I have even posted the one they open with.
        I need to get back there, visit family and catch up on the murals! Hugs!!!

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    1. I am so glad that you came over to my side of the world, Teagan. I have been thinking a great deal about how colour influences thoughts and perceptions of the world around us. Your use of colour in your books is an excellent example – pearl, pink, gold, emerald green etc. As you know, Vancouver has been under a thick cloud of smoke that is coming from the fires in California, Oregon and Washington state. Yesterday, we saw a patch of blue sky, which engendered a refreshing lift of our spirits and hopes that relief will soon come to our neighbours to the south. Hugs come back on my ever-strengthening wings.

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  9. Your vibrant arts community in Vancouver always amazes me. I love that you featured a mural from a previous festival. You boldly defy that awful expression, “It’s so last year.” What a beautiful piece of art, such a gorgeous palette and design. Thank you always for sharing the wonders of your urban environment.

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    1. I am very excited about a new Biennale installation that will be happening in the coming year that will be featured on Vancouver’s Cambie Bridge. The signage is up and I have taken a before photo and am looking forward to following the progress. I’ll be posting photos. It is called the Voxel Bridge. Check out this link – should be a remarkable installation. Can hardly wait to see how the work unfolds….. https://www.vancouverbiennale.com/artworks/cambie-bridge/

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  10. Hi Rebecca!
    I’m just putting the finishing touches on the post. You have a lot of blogs… lol …. so I thought I’d link to this blog, with a note to check out your other blogs.
    If you prefer a different link, let me know, and I’ll change it!

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      1. It has been a strange year indeed, one that will be remembered. We are learning to connect within a virtual world that offers new ways of sharing knowledge and experience. I am delighted that we connected! Welcome to a new week of possibilities.

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