Art & Culture

Wild About Neighbourhood Art

I grew up in a small town of about 3,000 people. But every few months, my parents and I would go into the “big city” which at that time had a population of 50,000 people. Going to the city was always exciting but one of my clearest memories is that the sidewalks had glass in them. Purple glass, to be precise.

Image by Prismlights, via Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons license.

I’ve since learned that those chunks of purple glass, which seemed so magical as child, were likely remnants of the city’s streetcar system. Sadly, all of them are now long since gone. But the joy of being surprised by something beautiful stuck with me.

This post isn’t about streetcars (maybe another time). It’s about finding art in unexpected places. More than that, it’s about ordinary people making art in unexpected places. Like French “pavement surgeon” Ememem, who fills sidewalk cracks and potholes with beautiful mosaics.

Imagine the joy of coming across these creations on your way home from work.

The point is, that art can be anywhere you want it to be. Like this neighbourhood in Calgary, who revitalized their catwalks (the footpaths that connect different spaces within neighbourhoods and what a great name!) bringing them to life with art and flowers.

Photo by Global News.

Elsewhere in Calgary, brightly decorated garage doors bring alleys to life and concrete barriers are painted with murals.

Anything can be a canvas. All it takes is one person with a brush.