30 new murals transform Calgary into 'open air' art gallery
A walk through several Calgary communities will now reveal a colourful series of murals and parklets.
Designed by and finished by local artists, the project was undertaken by the Beltline Urban Mural Project (BUMP) to add colour, vibrancy, and an element of safety to the downtown Calgary neighbourhood.
The murals have been painted on concrete barriers, dubbed “jersey barriers” and placed in strategic locations close to patios. Many portions of sidewalks around the city have been extended to allow for pandemic social distancing. The jersey barriers will deter or stop any car traffic from swerving into these extended areas.
“It’s a new territory for the city in supporting the businesses and the extra patio space they are looking to build out,” said Peter Oliver of the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association. “It’s also another opportunity for artists to get their work into new places and this time it’s on the streets,” added Oliver.
Another element of the initiative involves a collaboration with Calgary Parks to install two new container parklets, located in the Beltline and Kensington. The parklets are painted by local artists and create new spaces for people gather in a safe, distanced fashion.
“It’s really a win-win,” said Billie Rae Busby, a local artist who was able to paint her first public mural on a jersey barrier. “It’s great for local artists; we all get to experience new art around the city, it’s awesome to have public art really innovative and on some structures that people will really notice,” she added.
“It’s exciting, a lot of people don’t go into art galleries, but now when they’re going for a walk and they’re shopping in different places, they can check it out and acknowledge they’re viewing the work of a local artist.”
Beltline Urban Mural Project, June 11, 2021
The new murals can be found in eight different business improvement areas across the city including Inglewood, the Beltline, Victoria Park and Bridgeland.
The murals are slated to remain in place until patio season comes to a close.