The Mural Festival appreciates the quality street art of talented artists every year. It is a great platform for modern creativity demonstration.
It began as a summer festival in 2013 to support local artists. Today it has developed as a platform to support the free-culture movement.
Every year in June, local and international mural artists reach Montreal to exhibit their art. They demonstrate cultural diversity and art and challenge the stigma about creative expression.
Let’s check out what this festival is all about?
7 Colorful Features about The Mural Festival
1. About The Festival
It is a free, public art festival. It is generally held between Sherbrooke and Mount Royal Avenue streets.
The streets transform into an open-air museum for more than a week. The urban building walls become a colorful collage by the hands of creative artists.
This mural fest has provided a new identity to Montreal as a global destination of contemporary art. Visitors enjoy artist talks, exhibitions, music concerts, and much more at this festival.
Mural Festival is immensely popular on social media platforms, including Instagram, with more than 200k followers. It has also won the Grand Prix of Québec tourism for its remarkable success.
The Mural Festival celebrates the modernization of urban art, supporting the free art movements. Artists assemble here to voice against artistic censorship, public art policy, environmental policy, and several other socio-cultural issues through their artworks.
Some renowned artists who shared their excellent work and impressive creativity are:
Canadian artist Zoltan Veevaete is known for his art history passion. He presents murals in such a way that the viewer absorbs a new meaning with each view.
His work was exhibited at 2014, Mural Festival which was well received. He creates a collage of modern art with complex ideas in artistic exuberance. He is one of the talented Canadian muralists known for uniquely weaving dynamic subjects.
(ii) Bryan Beyung
A Graphic Design graduate born in a refugee family, who represents his mixed culture in his murals, Bryan designs remarkable abstract artworks to send messages with his concrete digital world knowledge
His work at the 2014 Mural Festival brought him attention to its vibrant features. His pictorial approach is impressive, as it brings freshness to the graffiti culture.
Another Canadian artist of Montreal origin is MONK.E who received astounding support in the 2015 Mural Fest. He is known for reinventing the collage with painting and poetry.
His spiritual inclination often appears in his works. He always chooses pastel colors, and his works have a certain depth.
With his murals, he disseminates strong messages for the multi-cultural society’s betterment. He is also a rapper and has performed at the festival.
Peter Gibson, better known as ROADSWORTH, is one of the popular Canadian muralists. He is known for experimental art.
He started his career in 2001 and used unconventional sources to paint Canadian streets. His creative work for biking pathways made him one of the most famous street artists. He is a pioneer in using the stencil technique.
A young muralist of French & Spanish descent, he made his presence felt in the 2017 Mural Festival in his symbolic artworks. His murals never create any jaw-dropping effects, though the symbolism is eye-catching and his style is off-beat He is among an impressive lot of Canadian muralists.
(vi) Ron English
He was an upcoming muralist in 2017 Mural Festival, for his satirical work. This world-famous American muralist is known for coining the term, POPaganda which is his trademark.
He has several satirical characters from politics and public lives. His world-class murals are comic enough to amuse any depressed soul.
He is the founder of A’Shop, a native Canadian, a man who lived with murals since childhood. He still preserves the fundamental aspects of mural art.
In his works, it seems as if the whole of Montreal collectively relives the legacy. He is one of the promising muralists known to be authentic and experimental.
(viii) Drew Merritt
The Mural Festival is known as a platform for national and international artists to color public spaces. The reason is supporting the creative community through murals.
One such talented artist, Drew Merritt, has crossed territories to express her art. She has been the most sought-after muralist of the festival.
She brings all the human traits from heroic to antagonistic under one roof and creates fabulous artworks. This American artist is known for presenting drama over the canvas.
(ix) INSANE 51
He is another international muralist based in Athens and a pioneer in 3D art. His murals have three layers that collectively create an absolute effect.
One of his murals was recorded in the Guinness Book as one of the largest 3D murals. He made his debut at the 2019 Mural Festival.
(x) Patrick Fairchild
Patrick Fairchild, an expert in graffiti, graphics, and painting, is highly active in Quebec’s artist community. He is one of the founding members of the Morgan Bridge Gallery.
Click here to explore the Bowling culture of Montreal.
3. Art Galleries
Montreal has become the Mural City for successfully organizing the mural fest. Some of the fabulous murals are preserved at the art district’s street galleries.
Some of the prominent art galleries are:
(i) Station 16 Gallery
Located at 377 Rue Saint-Paul Ouest, Montréal, QC, Station 16 exhibits artworks of famous artists. Murals of Bryan Beyung, Brainwash, Dain, and others attract visitors to the exhibitions.
It offers limited edition works and prints of local and international artists. It is the official boutique of the Mural Festival with a team of dedicated artists.
(ii) Galerie C.O.A.
Located at 6405 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal, Galerie C.O.A. exhibits shows of young and talented muralists. This contemporary art gallery unites Canadian and international artworks under one roof.
(iii) Matthew Namour: Old Montreal Gallery
Located at Old Montreal, Matthew Namour Art Gallery organizes exhibitions to showcase world-class contemporary art. This place brings graffiti, comics, pop art, illustration, and several other art forms under one roof.
(iv) Yves Laroche Art Gallery
Another art gallery located at 206, rue St-Paul O, Montreal, Yves Laroche Art Gallery supports contemporary and emerging art forms. Most of the Mural Festival artworks get a suitable platform for the exhibitions.
4. Public Art Program
To encourage the participation of mural artists and non-profit organizations, Mural Art Program was established in 2018. Since then, it has created more than thirty murals across Montreal city.
This program offers an opportunity to the citizens to collaborate with the artists and muralists to paint the streets. It aims to produce high visibility murals, maintaining artistic quality. It also focuses on neighborhood murals, favoring art liberation.
Each year Mural Festival introduces new ideas about urban architecture, inviting artists from around the world. This art program helps learners understand the basics of the art through them.
5. Music Performances
To add spice to your fabulous journey, you can enjoy various music performances at the festival. Local and international performing artists entertain the energetic audience each year.
It is a platform where music and visuals merge to reach novel creative heights. Artists work together to create the Mural Festival soundtrack each year.
In recent fest editions, Montreal Excentric Hall showcases the screening of documentaries based on the theme of artistic liberty. These documentaries also show the development history of the mural fest.
You get an opportunity to know about the history of murals and graffiti. The cinema is the best medium to understand the philosophy behind the fest and its support for artistic freedom.
7. Guided Tours
If you are visiting the Mural Festival as a tourist, you may opt for guided tours. You must consider, it is an 11-day festival attended by nearly 1 million people. The streets are jam-packed, and a novice may find it quite uncomfortable.
So, it is advised to check for any guided tour. One such reliable partner is Spades and Palacio Tours. Its Montreal’s Original Mural Tour has been featured in the New York Times for fabulous services.
Tour guides explain the murals, their forms, artists, and hidden messages. These guides are art-lovers and have professional skills in guiding.
You get a chance to visit nearly 25 artworks a day. Private tours are also available.
It also provides you an option to explore Montreal’s cultural history with an extended tour. You will surely enjoy the beauty of the city that keeps vibrant colors of art and romanticism.
For 11 days, Montreal hosts the finest muralists and graffiti artists across the globe.
With artistic liberty and common creative expression, these artists bring the best mural arts into life. They select their creativity to voice against unequal treatment of artistic liberty.
Their art represents their cultural identity, ready to collaborate and reach unity. Whether a Greek artist, or a native Canadian, or a Russian, they paint to nurture liberty of art and expression.
In a short time span, the Mural Festival has provided a new identity to Montreal city, a pioneer in mural art exhibitions. This summer, make a plan to visit this festival to see colors dance in rhythm.