By KIRAN MALIK-KHAN, Connect Contributor
It’s full of iconic Fort McMurray images. There’s a haul truck, a bison, and a bear. Then there are metaphorical images like a running faucet complementing the mural’s name: “Turned ON.” The fourth mural in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s (RMWB) Graffiti Abatement Mural program was revealed at Lions Park in September 18.
Councillor Tyran Ault was on hand for the community event. An initiative near and dear to him, he appreciated the Community Strategies department for leading the Graffiti Abatement Mural Program, which was launched in 2012.
“I’m passionate about this project, because you get the work of talented artists on display and curb graffiti. It is a very cool, and fitting mural,” Councillor Ault enthused.
“I’m passionate about this project, because you get the work of talented artists on display and curb graffiti. It is a very cool, and fitting mural,” Councillor Ault enthused. “I think it’s vibrant and energetic and very Fort McMurray with a whooping crane, bear and bison on it.”
He added: “I hope to see more and more initiatives like this. It’ll be great to have businesses taking on the project and beautifying their own property with murals.”
Ongoing since 2012, the Graffiti Abatement Mural Project is the municipality’s way of providing opportunities to explore urban art in a “legal, respectful way,” according to the official website.
The Lions Park mural cost $30,000, which included supplies, equipment rental, and artist fees.
Speaking of artist, Turned ON was painted by Calgary-based artist Daniel J. Kirk, along with Ivan Ostapenko. Kirk is the director/founder of BlankPage Studio, a local creative hub, designed to encourage and engage dialogue and active participation in the development of Calgary’s cultural sphere.
Alanna Bottrell, Community Strategies Coordinator for the RMWB explains the decision to go with another non-local artist for the fourth installment.
“The design was chosen by a community selection panel, which met after the national Call to Artists closed,” she said. “The selection panel reviewed all qualified submissions, discussed the merits of each candidate’s submission package and portfolio, and then voted. Each panelist had one vote.”
The previous three murals are located at the Beacon Hill Pump House (painted by the same artists as the 2015 mural – Kirk and Ostapenko in 2014); the Father Turcotte School (painted by Toronto artist Uber500 in 2013); and Fort McMurray Composite High School (painted by Calgary artist Wil Yee with the help of Composite High students).
Learn more about the Graffiti Abatement Mural Program and how local businesses can take part at www.rmwb.ca/mural.
– Connect Weekly –