ALLEY ART IN OLD STRATHCONA
Old Strathcona has become home to a diversity of mural projects. Last year, Lacey Wilburn and Layla Folkman created a stunning mural to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of The Whyte Avenue Art Walk. The back wall of the Varscona Hotel (8208 106th Street) and has become a fantastic backdrop and a photo opportunity for proud Edmontonians.
This year six artists will each create paintings on 8 x 8 foot panels. These paintings will be installed on the east exterior wall of The Paint Spot, 10032 81st Avenue. It will make the dark purple wall of The Paint Spot look like an outdoor art gallery. “This was the plan from the moment we bought the building,” says The Paint Spot owner, Kim Fjordbotten. “We didn’t want another historical mural. We wanted the artist’s vision and talent to shine. We said, “Here is the wall and these are the dimensions.” Then we asked artists, “What would you paint here?”
72 artists contributed 77 proposals. “We’d love to find a home for each and every piece of art submitted,” says Fjordbotten. Do you know anyone looking for a mural artist? “If you have a wall, some funds and a timeline, we can help you get a mural done!” All submissions are available for viewing in a reference binder at The Paint Spot.
Artist Jordan Pearson was one of those selected for this project. She is excited to increase her skills. “I applied for many mural projects last year and was told the jury was unsure if I could handle a large project,” she says. “The #PaintSpot6 mural was perfect for me. I discovered I love working large and now have a public art piece to add credibility to my portfolio.” Artist Daphne Cote from Stony Plain echoes the joy of working large. “Painting is hard,” says Daphne. “If you can pull it off it's the best feeling in the world, especially because you're guaranteed to learn something new every time.”
If you want to see a large work created in time-lapse videos check out Byron McBride’s channel on YouTube. He has created a 17-part video series offering a look into the artist’s studio and the creation of his large painting for #paintspot6. It is full of triumphs, self-doubt, and daily commentaries.
The six pieces of #PaintSpot6 will be installed over the next several weeks. They face a parking lot enclosed by two other buildings that are or will be covered with art. Tire Craft Street Art Mural was created this spring by artists AJA Louden, Evan Brunt, and Clay Lowe. The large white wall of Trinity Lutheran Church will soon be covered in a giant mural mosaic of 1000 pieces of art.
Mural art doesn’t just happen — it takes cooperation between landlord, tenant, the city, the community, and the artists. Watch for future murals on the new Varscona Theatre and the Crawford block development on 83rd Avenue and 104th Street.
The Whyte Avenue Art Walk, The Paint Spot, Captial City Clean Up, The Edmonton Arts Council and The Old Strathcona Business Association collaborating to create even more murals to celebrate ArtWalk and Old Strathcona.