Victoria streets are starting to look a lot more colourful.
Sixteen artists from across Canada and the world are participating in the City of Victoria’s “Concrete Canvas,” art project looking to curate more murals in the city.
Artists from Victoria, Canada, the United States and Ukraine will participate in the two-week painting spree around Rock Bay, unveiling their work Aug. 25 at the official launch party where people can take walking tours to see the completed murals.
For Victoria-based artist Peter Allen, the project is a welcome sign of acceptance from the city.
“I’m very, very proud of Victoria for doing this,” Allen said. “I think they’ve taken a huge, giant step forward in their cultural maturity, and willingness to take a risk with young, emerging art forms. I’ve been painting in this city for over 20 years and never thought they’d be this supportive.”
Allen’s piece shows a world of cartoon characters meshed together in a fluid form. It’s located at 401 David St., and stands in homage to Allen’s mentor, Hans Fear, who passed away in 2001 after struggling with schizophrenia.
“This mural is raising awareness for mental health, as well as paying tribute to the genius who created the tradition of street art in Victoria,” Allen said.
Just up the road, Caitlin McDonagh, an artist who splits her time between Victoria and Montreal, said she was taking on a new challenge.
“I’ve never painted or made anything this large, so it’s exciting,” McDonagh said. “It’s kind of like a nature scene, but a mish-mash surreal spin on it.”
McDonagh began her piece at 2725 Rock Bay Ave. on Tuesday, and by Friday it was taking an abstract and whimsical form.
The launch party runs from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Hoyne and Driftwood Brewery parking lot (450 Hillside Ave.). The free event will include a mural workshop, live music, food and beverages for all ages, and walking tours of the murals.
Murals are located at 401 and 511 David St., 2500, 2551 and 2752 Rock Bay Ave., 453 and 518 Hillside Ave., 632 John St., 611, 626 and 356 Bay St., and 2219 Government St.
For more information, you can head to victoria.ca/concretecanvas.