New Brunswick

Painting the town, literally: Festival Inspire gets underway in Moncton area

Festival Inspire has kicked off in Moncton. It's a week-long event featuring live art, street performances, music and murals.

'People get to see the artists in motion and kind of get a respect for the time that goes in to it'

Artist Lysanne Lombard was painting the background of her "mural with a message" on Church Street. It's part of Festival Inspire in the Moncton area. (Kate Letterick/CBC News )

Lysanne Lombard splashed brightly coloured paint on the side of a Church Street building in Moncton on Monday.

It's the beginning of her first mural, ever.

The Moncton-based artist is taking part in Festival Inspire, a week-long event featuring live art, street performances, music and murals.

Her finished product will feature an environmental message.

"What I'm doing is, it's going to be a giant salmon, like a wind-up toy. It's going to be bright and fun coloured," Lombard said.

"The reason I'm doing a salmon is for the Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance. They're kind of working on a project right now to repopulate salmon. It's a local species of ours and it's kind of dwindling, so it's going to try to bring some awareness to that aspect with also bringing some bright funkiness to the streets."

Lysanne Lombard's finished mural will feature a giant salmon. She says it will be "bright and fun coloured." (Pierre Fournier/CBC News)

Lombard said it's cool to be painting in her hometown. "I dig it for sure."

She does live painting at various festivals and said Festival Inspire brings a little something extra.

"It's great because it's bringing more respect and stuff to artists and people get to see the artists in motion and kind of get a respect for the time that goes into it and the skill 'cause a lot of people think, 'Oh, I can just go to Walmart and just get this and that,'" Lombard said.

"Once you see an artist at work, you really gain an appreciation for the skill and whatnot. It's really cool in that aspect."

Over at Festival Inspire headquarters on High Street, the Scottish duo of Conzo and Globel were working on a piece that will end up in the City of Dieppe.

This is the farthest the Scottish duo of Conzo and Globel has ever travelled to create a piece of art. (Pierre Fournier/CBC News)

"Today we're doing a kind of satire piece very tongue-and-cheek humour — our kind of Glasgow humour we like to take it worldwide," said Conzo Throb.

"This piece is like a new piece of advertising on your product that's launching particularly in the Dieppe neighbourhood. We don't want to give too much away, but I think the tastebuds of New Brunswick will be delighted with what we've created here," said Ciaran Globel with a smile.

The two artists have participated in painting festivals in the United Kingdom and are off to Sweden next month. They say Moncton is the farthest they've ever come in their "little painting career."

"We're at it a few days early, but right now it's starting to pick up and we've seen the walls that were done last year and it's amazing. So far it's great," said Throb.

Conzo Throb and Ciaran Globel are from Glasgow and say they've received a warm welcome from the people of Moncton. (Kate Letterick/CBC News )

"All the artists arrived today so it was really cool meeting everyone and the whole team has just been great and the people of Moncton are super friendly. It's been a very warm welcome," said Globel.

Conzo and Globel listen to Elvis Presley as they work, putting on sunscreen, a little surprised by the heat.

"It's amazing and it's very warm, but it's very cool as well," said Throb.

"Warm and welcoming," echoed Globel.

Down on Assumption Boulevard, local artist Chelsea Gauvin was up on scaffolding, painting her first mural on the front of the Starving Artist Cafe.

Artist Chelsea Gauvin says painting a mural for Festival Inspire has been on her bucket list for a while. (Kate Letterick/CBC News )

Gauvin said she hopes her painting makes people mindful of where their food comes from.

"We have no idea — you go to the grocery store and you just pick it up, so having the apples just kind of hanging and you can't see exactly where they're coming from that's kind of the indication so just being mindful of that, buying local," Gauvin said.

Gauvin said the project is daunting but exciting.

"Awesome, it feels really good. It's been on my bucket list for a while so this year I'm finally taking part and it feels great," she said.

Chelsea Gauvin is painting a mural on the front of the Starving Artist Cafe on Assumption Boulevard. (Kate Letterick/CBC News )

She said the festival brings a lot to the community.

"A lot of colour a lot of fun, creativity and it makes art more accessible for locals and stuff 'cause not everybody goes to galleries now. It's like a limited audience, so yeah, it's great," Gauvin said.

Festival Inspire runs until July 14. A map of the murals can be found on the Festival Inspire website.