Kelowna neighbourhood gets colourful revamp with 7 new murals
Putting art on buildings shows people in the community that you care about them, says project director
Seven businesses in Kelowna's Rutland neighbourhood are getting a mural makeover thanks to the new Uptown Mural Project.
The project is an effort by the the Uptown Rutland Business Association to make the area a more attractive place to visit, explained executive director Laurel D'Andrea.
The murals, located near Rutland Centennial Park in the east side of the city, are all within a few blocks of each other.
"By having this art in this area it gives people a reason to come up to Rutland and they're all walkable," she said.
UBC Okanagan students and Okanagan College students live in the area and D'Andrea hopes the murals will appeal to them.
"That's why we decided to go with abstract and funky murals rather than historical," said D'Andrea.
Already people are coming and visiting the murals as they are being completed she said.
Muralist Kevin Ledo, known for his work painting a nine-storey portrait of Leonard Cohen on the side of a Montreal building, is putting the finishing touches on a piece he is doing of a boy he photographed on the beach.
"I'm super happy to have my piece here in Rutland. It's the first time I'm painting a mural in B.C.," he told Daybreak South's Christine Coulter.
"I'm really excited to see what everybody else is going to complete with their murals for this project," he added.
David Doody, artistic director for the Uptown Mural Project, recently moved back to Kelowna after having lived in Ledo's hometown of Montreal, and was inspired by the local art scene.
"When we came back we thought we'd try and bring some of that same kind of flavour and arts and culture vibe back with us to just celebrate our own arts and culture that we have here in the Okanagan, but on a slightly smaller scale," said Doody.
"It's a lot of leg work, but really it's kind of a simple equation. All we had to do was just have the desire to have it."
He wanted there to be a range of contemporary-style murals so they appeal to a wide range of tastes.
"When you put public art on the buildings that's for people to look at and it's beautiful, you're saying that you care about the people that are in the community walking by and the community looks back at that and they reflect that," said Doody.
With files from Christine Coulter and Daybreak South