As street art has gone mainstream, no neighbourhood in Edmonton has gotten more colourful than Old Strathcona. By the end of summer, we will be home to more than 70 murals!
To celebrate all this art, we’ve launched a new mural map which includes nearly 50 locations of murals, street art and graffiti walls. And as soon as the paint dries on new murals we add them to our dedicated mural webpage, which provides more of a real-time update.
“Over the last few years, the Old Strathcona Business Association (OSBA) has commissioned and sponsored a number of artists and festivals to add art to walls throughout District Whyte. This includes Nextfest, Grindstone’s Mural Massive and the street art festival Rust Magic,” said Cherie Klassen, executive director of the OSBA.
“Every year more and more murals pop up in the neighbourhood!”
Everyone is invited to wander Whyte Avenue, up side streets, and down back lanes to discover the growing collection of street art.
“Most people have no idea there are over 50 murals in our community created by local and international artists – all within blocks of each other. I encourage people to walk it, bike it, run it or even plan a scavenger hunt around it. The mural map offers an easy way for me to share the adventure with others,” said Kim Fjordbotten, owner of The Paint Spot.
The Paint Spot has been a long-time supporter of artists and murals in Old Strathcona and Edmonton. Some of the oldest wall art found in the neighbourhood, like Tim Heimdal’s 1994 mural on the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre, and the newest, including Mr. Chi Pig by Layla Folkmann and Lacey Jane Wilburn, have been painted thanks to the Paint Spot’s dedication to the arts.
To help more people discover new favourite art and artists, we are hosting four mural tours in August and September with Instagrammable Walls expert Linda Hoang. We’ve also got Paths for People co-hosting two of the tours with free e-scooter rides courtesy of Spin.
“I’ve loved doing Instagrammable Wall Walks and Food Crawls in Old Strathcona over the last few years because of how many gems there are in the neighbourhood, and there’s often new ones being added all the time, so no tour is quite the same”, said Linda Hoang, digital creator and strategist, and host of the District Whyte Mural Tours.
“These types of tours are so popular, and the main comment I hear from participants is how much fun it is to explore neighbourhoods through their often surprising art.”
All of the tours sold out within one day!
Participants on the September tours will be among the first people in Edmonton to see the finished work from a brand new mural festival happening the September long weekend.
“RADO-Alley will bring more foot traffic to the west side of Whyte Ave.,” said festival organizer and mural artist Grady Wallace.
“We are looking to continue and revolutionize the legacy of mural festivals within Edmonton in order to aid the continually growing art community.”
RADO-Alley is September 4-6 in the back lane of the 107-108 Street block between 82 and 83 Avenues. The very next weekend, on the east side of Whyte, Grindstone Theatre returns with Mural Massive 2021, a weekend-long painting party taking over 81 Avenue and surrounding blocks.
Nextfest and Edmonton Fringe also added new murals this summer, on the ATB Financial Arts Barns buildings. The OSBA was proud to sponsor new and emerging artists working with AJ Louden on the Fringe art.
It’s easy to see why we needed to create a map to help capture all this art! We hope you’ll explore the many murals of Old Strathcona and tag us on all your social media shares – @oldstrathcona.