Giant mural in heart of capital created for new festival
A larger-than-life lobster emerging from a ship’s steering wheel has downtown Charlottetown visitors stopping in their tracks.
The giant mural on the side of Timothy’s World Coffee Shop is 80 feet long and two commercial stories high, portraying crashing waves, a lighthouse, an anchor, a tall ship and an octopus.
This is the first year for a festival called Charlottetown Mural, which is in the works to become an annual event produced by Shift Project and Event Management.
The mural on the side of Timothy’s is like nothing the Island has seen before at least not in her lifetime, said Becka Viau, project manager at Shift and artistic director of Charlottetown Mural.
“We have such beautiful public art already … Our city is very vocal about fostering public art and the cultural community in the city,” said Viau “It’s an attraction for people to come to the city but also just a great in diversifying public art.”
The crew working on the mural is A ’Shop, a non-profit organization based out of Montreal. In Montreal, they have a similar festival in mid June. The crew started the mural July 2 and will have it completed by July 10.
Viau sent the crew videos from the Discover Charlottetown website for background, but the theme and illustration for the mural came from the artists mounting it.
“What I really want is for the artwork to be artist led,” she said. “I want us to be presenting contemporary art …We are not looking to present commissioned artwork.”
Viau hopes this mural will lead up to a full festival next year in late June. The concept is that every year, artists would repaint the walls with the murals.
”We are debating if it is going to happen in one bang, where we have multiple walls being painted for a couple of weeks in June, or if we are going to do a series that will take place over the summer,” said Viau “We are just sort of trying to find that perfect fit for Charlottetown.”
She hopes Islanders feel a sense of pride of their downtown community when they see the mural as the content connects with P.E.I. so directly.
“I hope that people smile when they see it and that they are inspired by the beauty.”