Artists are painting their way across Red Deer’s downtown as part of the city’s 2022 mural program.
This year 12 murals will be added to the downtown landscape for the Meet the Street arts and culture festival on Sept. 3 and 4, to be held in partnership with Red Deer’s Centrefest street performer’s festival.
Bobby-Jo Stannard, community development superintendent with the city, said work on three murals is underway this week.
They are located on the east wall of Salon Harper at 4813 47th St., the east wall of Red Deer Eye Care at 4402 49th Ave. (former Safeway parking lot), and the west alley wall of Alta Boutique at 4927 48th St.
“It’s been a little challenging with the rain,” Stannard said about all the wet weather, and the muddy ground left behind.
“But we’re doing our best to work around those conditions. So far we are pretty much on time.”
She said murals will be started and finished throughout the summer so there should always be murals in progress so the public can see artists in action.
The location for 2022 murals, as well as the murals completed in 2021, can be found on an interactive map at reddeer.ca.
The 2022 mural artists include PJ Gilhuly, Slugger Studio, Josh Creighton, Chloe Marie Purcell, Moonlight Murals Collective, Kayla Bellerose, a.k.a. bb iskwew, Fatspatrol, Sarah Johnston, Jason Trotter, Sbuone, Borrris, Michael Burt of Trackside Studio Art and Murals.
Stannard said in the last two years there has been a huge increase in the number of people walking, and scooting, downtown to see the murals, and visiting local businesses along the way.
“We’re certainly hearing from the public, as well as our business owners, that it is sparking an interest, not only within our community, but provincially.”
About 10 murals were painted last summer and they remain intact and vibrant, she added.
“We’ve been overjoyed to see the response of the entire community to those particular murals and are confident the new murals will receive the same respect. We have seen an extremely low rate, almost negligible amount, of graffiti or vandalism.”
She said this year each artist was linked up with a building owner so they could negotiate the mural’s design. Two of the artists are also mentoring two up and coming Red Deer artists Emily Promise Alison and Demi Wilson.
Meet the Street and Centrefest will take place between 49th Avenue and 50th Avenue on Little Gaetz on Saturday and Sunday over the September long weekend. The joint event will be free.