By Angela Kazmiercak
Murals are paintings or graphics consisting of charged colours or an overall message that’s affixed onto the side of a building or a large wall. In 2021, Edmonton’s Old Strathcona homed nearly 60 of these murals. Painted by local and international artists, the murals are one of the city’s newest attractions to look out for.
Given the profusion of artwork on the bustling streets of Whyte Ave, the Old Strathcona Business Association (OSBA) mapped out most of the spots to help art lovers explore. Many of the works populate the East Whyte, West Ritchie, Central Whyte and West Whyte area.
“A lot of the art is really simplistic, but it still portrays its meaning well, which I really like,” said Kaitlin Labonte, NAIT student.
Before people start touring Strathcona’s murals though, it’s advised they download the map from Strathcona’s Business website. It’s useful to have as the map details the names of paintings and their locations. There’s also a dedicated mural webpage to gush over the newest artworks, which might pique a person or two’s interest.
While many new murals have appeared in Old Strathcona, they’re beginning to catch on Downtown, in south Edmonton parkades and at Kingsway Garden mall. The City of Edmonton is offering over 25 mural grants to artists in hopes the art will connect the community and prevent criminal behaviour, like vandalism.
“It’s a really great way for people to express themselves creatively and share that joy with the city. I think it makes a lot of people happy to see that kind of art,” said Thalia Mottus, NAIT student.
Several people comment that the murals make for a fun scavenger hunt, connect the community, are ideal for Instagram pictures and are something of a happy place. Whether you’d like to snap a pic in Pac-Man galore or become mesmerized in a galaxy of shapes and colours, there’s artwork for everyone to enjoy.
COVER PHOTO by Angela Kazmierczak