BUMP brightens up Calgary's street patios with 30 new mural barriers

BUMP — which puts on a mural festival every August — is bringing more public art to Calgary's streets through a new partnership with the city's roads department.

Beltline Urban Mural Project's Road Works Series helps transform main streets into 'open air art gallery'

Abigail Osness, who is graduating from John G. Diefenbaker High School and plans to attend the Alberta University of the Arts this September, got a chance to do her first BUMP mural for the project. She painted a 'cows in the flowers' mural inspired by spring. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

They're bright, they're beautiful and they're helping make Calgary's street patios just a bit safer.

That's the mission behind the latest project undertaken by the Beltline Urban Mural Project, or BUMP, which puts on a mural festival each year in August. It has partnered with the City of Calgary's roads department for this new initiative.

Local mural artists have been commissioned to paint large "jersey barriers" to help protect Calgary's patios as they spill out on roadways this summer to allow for pandemic social distancing.

"The Beltline Urban Murals Project has added colour and vibrancy to the neighbourhood for several years now," said BUMP murals director Julia Schreiber in a release. 

"I'm thrilled that BUMP was able to collaborate with various City of Calgary departments on Road Works Series to provide opportunity to artists, who have been some of the hardest hit during the pandemic. The painted barriers will provide a unique blend of safety and excitement to the patios in our most concentrated commercial areas."

Josh-Creighton focuses on geometric designs composed of hard edge shapes and dynamic color palettes for his BUMP barrier murals. (Chelsea Yang-Smith/BUMP)

CBC's Angela Knight interviewed one of the artists, high school graduate Abigail Osness, and Peter Oliver from the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association, for Friday's Calgary Eyeopener

"We painted over 50 murals across the city to date, and this adds another 30," said Oliver. "We also launched as part of the Road Works Series two container parklets in partnership with the Calgary parks department."

Peter Oliver with the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association sits in one of the new parklets in Kensington that provide a nice shady spot to sit as you take in the container art. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Check out what some of the murals look like as they were painted and where they found homes in the photos below, or send us your photos if you see them while out and about to

Helen Young, a music director at CJSW, is a multidisciplinary artist who often incorporates animation into her work. (Chelsea Yang-Smith/BUMP)
This bright barrier mural sits in front of The National on 10th Avenue S.W. with the Calgary Tower looming behind it. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)
Billie Rae Busby creates abstract paintings of the Canadian landscape. The contemporary visual artist uses a precise hard-edge technique and colour theory to reinvent her surroundings. (Chelsea Yang-Smith/BUMP)
This BUMP barrier mural from Helen Young sits in front of Japanese Village on 10th Avenue S.W. (Rachel Malcean/CBC)
This is Billie Rae Busby's first time painting murals for the Beltline Urban Mural Project. (Chelsea Yang-Smith/BUMP)
The flipside of Helen Young's barrier mural on 10th Avenue S.W. across the street from High Park — an urban park at the top of a parkade. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)
BUMP says Mike Hooves uses 'shape language, saturated colour and gestural linework to create playful and engaging imagery that acknowledges queer esthetic and signifiers.' (Chelsea Yang-Smith/BUMP)
Ryan Fairweather did this playful barrier murals outside of Lulu Bar on 17th Avenue S.W. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)
According to BUMP, Calgary-based tattooist and artist Brieanne Mikuska likes to focus on 'emotions as they impact the human experience, mysticism as it relates to consciousness and the study of sign processes.' (Chelsea Yang-Smith/BUMP)
This colourful piece sits outside the Beltliner restaurant in Calgary's Beltline. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)
Ryan Fairweather is a Calgary-based artist who goes by the tag Strawberry Milk to personify his 'supercute approach to character design,' according to BUMP. (Chelsea Yang-Smith/BUMP)
Josh Creighton did this colourful barrier mural outside the Beltliner on 12th Avenue S.W. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)