More murals for downtown

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Brandon’s downtown will be awash in colour next spring.

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This article was published 21/01/2019 (1407 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Brandon’s downtown will be awash in colour next spring.

The Downtown Public Art and Mural Committee is seeking proposals from artists to paint as many as six more murals in the city’s core.

The call for proposals went out Friday.

File This mural on Rosser Avenue was one of two selected in a call for proposals from artists last fall.

“We firmly believe that this kind of public art will generate significant interest in our downtown,” said Elisabeth Saftiuk, executive director of the Brandon Downtown Development Corp. (BDDC) and co-chair of the committee, comprised of the BDDC, the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corp. (BNRC), the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba and downtown property owners.

“Murals have positive social and economic spin offs for our entire community, but particularly for the inner-city community, where our program is going to be focused,” Saftiuk said.

Murals also increase the perception of safety in a neighbourhood, “in particular, in an otherwise dark and dilapidated alley on a blank wall,” she said.

“At the end of the day, we believe that it’s a relatively low-cost project with the potential of high impact.”

Carly Gasparini, executive director of the BNRC and co-chair of the committee, agrees.

The goal of the mural projects, she said, “is to use art in our downtown to create vibrancy and create a real atmosphere of a vibrant community that you want to be part of.”

This is the committee’s second call for proposals for murals.

Last fall, only two were selected, because that was the number of walls that were available, Gasparini said.

One mural, located at 1126 Rosser Ave., was painted by artists Katy Slimmon and Andrea Steingrimsdottir and depicts geese flying over the blue hills.

The other mural, by Manitoba artist James Culleton, will go up on a wall at 921 Rosser Ave.

Gasparini said they hope to have his and the other murals completed in the spring after the weather warms up.

She noted the committee has received funding from a number donors for this project, including property owners who have either provided funding for their own buildings or for others.

They have also received project funding from the City of Brandon and the province, Gasparini said.

“There’s a little bit of funding coming from all over, and that collaborative nature is what’s making this work.”

Gasparini said they are encouraging artists who submitted proposals last time, but were not selected, to come forward again.

“In the last call, we did receive several excellent submissions,” she said.

“Choosing the two that we did was difficult, and we anticipate that several of the same artists who submitted the first time will submit again and they are more than invited to do so.”

The call for proposals can be found at bnrc.ca/community-development/murals.

The deadline for submissions is Feb. 21.

» brobertson@brandonsun.com

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