Mount Pleasant, a neighbourhood in Vancouver (the capital of British Columbia), was once a working-class neighbourhood. Later, the famous journalist Ian Hanomansing, publisher David Beer and many other people known throughout Canada found refuge here.
In spite of the comprehensive and multifaceted progress, this area, where tourists rarely set foot, has managed to preserve the houses of the 19th century. Hidden in dense alleys, these artifacts of architectural antiquity are rich in the smell of coffee, which is present on almost every corner. Mount Pleasant (as the name of the district is translated) glows in the evenings with the neon of its shop windows. Next on vancouver-future.
Mural creation is a collaborative effort
Time has not spared old houses, which are annually assisted by muralists. Every summer they come to the outskirts of Mount Pleasant, transforming the unsightly and shabby walls of the buildings into canvases of their own. Along with flowering trees, there are brushes, ladders, cans of paint in all kinds of colours.
Creating a mural several stories high is beyond one person’s strength. That’s why several people get together as a team, divide up the works, choose colours and… … they laugh. Although mural painting is taken seriously.
Murale painters represent many nationalities of the world. Sometimes one cannot take one’s eyes away from their works. For instance, ” Dreamweaver”, a painting dedicated to local indigenous people, was such an urban canvas.
Its authors – two artists with multinational roots. Lauren Brewner has ancestors from Okinawa, Trinidad and Germany. Her co-author’s family includes representatives of the indigenous people of Canada, as well as Scots and Germans. Their painting is a reminder that the past is inseparable from the present, as well as the spiritual world from the physical.
The process of mural “restoration” lasts for a week, after which crowds of admirers of mural painting come here. They look closely at the details, a curious joyful crowd rushes in and examines the details, takes photos for memory and, if lucky, with the authors. Of course, not Picasso or Dali, but to be in the picture with those who ennoble your city is also an honor and a pleasure. There are also spontaneous interviews, which are taken from the masters of brush by enthusiastic art lovers.
Emergence and development of the festival
Vancouver Mural Festival was founded in 2016. Later it expanded to some other areas of Vancouver. There are plenty of abandoned buildings.
Main events occur on Main Street, the central highway, which, running from north to south, divided Vancouver into two parts. Mural creation is followed by active commercial activity. Local design firms demonstrate their clothes and set up their tents along the sidewalk. Local chefs bring their food and musicians bring new compositions. Sometimes it seems that the whole population of Vancouver, who forgot about work, comes to Mount Pleasant. Work every year, but the mural festival pleases people only for a week.
Murals are very hard work, the organizers of the festival say. It is not enough to be an artist. The implementation of ideas requires a lot of experience from the creators of giant art objects. The skills of simple street graffiti are not enough for such a task. It requires special equipment and the ability to work at height. Those who have dizziness should not come here.
The organizers of the festival accentuate that through art they support the values and appeal to the problems of society. Caring for children, nature, equality of all people are the main subjects of the artists.
As the authors of the project claim, every year Vancouver receives about fifty new murals. And, whatever one may say, it takes quite a lot of time to get acquainted with them. Even if it seems to you that you’ve already managed to get acquainted with all the murals, there will still be some new one or a familiar one already sparkling with new colors.
But the life of the festival continues after its closure, albeit in virtual reality. Its organizers have created a free application, all the murals are collected together, there is information about their authors and description of the wall paintings.