Call for mural artists

Municipality announces location for sixth graffiti abatement project

By Dawn Booth, Connect Weekly

A collection of the five murals of the Graffiti Abatement Mural Program found throughout Fort McMurray. The Regional Municipality is in search for an artist, or team of artists, to take on the sixth mural project to be painted on the Bob Lamb Bandstand in Borealis Park. Supplied photos

A collection of the five murals of the Graffiti Abatement Mural Program found throughout Fort McMurray. The Regional Municipality is in search for an artist, or team of artists, to take on the sixth mural project to be painted on the Bob Lamb Bandstand in Borealis Park. Supplied photos

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) is in search for a Canadian artist – or artist team – to take on the sixth installation of the graffiti abatement mural for the Bob Lamb Bandstand in Borealis Park.

First launched in 2012, the RMWB’s Graffiti Abatement Mural Program has been successful of deterring graffiti while adding an artist approach to capturing the community, its history and symbolic icons. Current murals can be found at Syncrude Athletic Park, Composite High School, Father Turcotte School, Beacon Hill Pump House, and – most recently – Lions Park.

The Bob Lamb Bandstand mural is expected to cover the entire interior of the bandstand, including the roof’s underside. With the call open from now, until May 27, the municipality hopes to begin the installation in July.
RMWB’s Community Strategies Coordinator Alanna Bottrell explained the selected mural location is chosen in general areas that could be subjected to graffiti vandalism. As for the selection of the artist, a panel of local judges chooses who will take on each project.

“The RMWB does not have a vote in the process,” she said. “The panel (which has been made up of representatives from the public art community and the Communities in Bloom committee, as well as local artists and residents) uses a scored criteria and looks at things like: artistic quality, suitability for the site location, budget feasibility, artist qualifications, and public safety.”

With no intentional theme set in place, artists are granted the opportunity to use their creativity to make something impressionable. Aside from the sports-related installment found at Syncrude Athletic Park, the murals have captured the natural world and animals found within the Wood Buffalo region.

“We try to leave the theme fairly open to interpretation, so that we can get a wide variety of submissions,” Bottrell shared. “We are lucky to have murals of such outstanding caliber in our community. Think of how vibrant our community will be if we can continue to add a new mural, every year, for the next 20 years.”

Bottrell also mentioned how she has noticed locals using the murals as backdrops for photography and hopes the Bob Lamb Bandstand location “will encourage community groups to use the space for programming and performances.”

To learn more about the Graffiti Abatement Mural Program and to apply to the current artist call, please visit www.rmwb.ca/mural.

-Connect Weekly-