House of PainT adapts during the pandemic, creates interactive street art map

The House of PainT Festival of Urban Arts and Culture has brought together musicians, dancers, artists and community members for more than 16 years. The usual summer celebration of hip hop culture has come up with creative ways to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CBC Ottawa is proud to partner with House of PainT

The graffiti under the George Dunbar Bridge is constantly changing. (Kate Tenenhouse/CBC)

The House of PainT Festival of Urban Arts and Culture has brought together musicians, dancers, artists and community members for more than 16 years. Due to COVID-19, the usual summer celebration of all things hip hop won't be taking place under the George Dunbar Bridge as it has in the past. 

However, House of PainT's General Manager Veronica Roy says the festival team is still working hard to share programming with the community during the pandemic. 

"We don't know when we will be able to have a festival again, but hip hop as an art form is nothing if not perseverant," Roy said in an email interview. 

Veronica Roy, House of PainT's general manager, in front of the legal graffiti wall underneath the George Dunbar Bridge in 2019. (Kate Tenenhouse/CBC)

CBC Ottawa is a proud partner of the House of PainT Urban Arts Festival and last year, CBC Ottawa shared some of Roy's favourite street art spots in the city. House of PainT took it to the next level this year by creating their own interactive map showing walking tour routes and destinations where you can find murals and graffiti. 

Click on the markers below to learn more about a location on the map. 

"We invite people to explore their communities and take photos of murals, graffiti and street art that they enjoy to send us for inclusion, so others can access these pieces on their own time to experience the artwork," Roy said.

"For folks who are self-isolating or otherwise face barriers to exploring outdoor locations, the virtual experience of this map allows them to see public artwork they may lack physical access to."

Share your photos

The map is meant to be an accessible community resource and it needs your help to improve and grow over time.

"There are far more pieces missing than have been included, so we are relying on locals to help us to build a comprehensive resource."

Share your photos with CBC Ottawa and House of PainT on Instagram with the name of the artist and any other details you want us to know about the local art in your neighbourhood. Don't forget to set your account to public and tag @cbcottawa and @houseofpaint, so we can find your photos. 

A new mural by Kalkidan Assefa, Allan André and Jimmy Baptiste on Bank Street at Lisgar Street in July 2020. (David Richard/Radio-Canada)

Throughout the summer and fall, House of PainT is planning more adapted programming, including the Knowledge Conference for artist and community development in October, a graffiti colouring book featuring local artists, a poetry zine, new murals throughout the city and more. 

"It's important to us that we keep artists working and we deliver valuable hip hop programming to Ottawa/Gatineau that people can enjoy while putting their safety first." 

For more information about House of PainT, look for updates on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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