The gigantic murals that have characterized Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada's city center since 2002 are now taking over the city's eastern side. Between now and the end of April 2015, ten works will be mounted on buildings on Rue King Est, between Bowen and 18th Avenue, in order to create the East Murals circuit.
These murals were created live in Sherbrooke during August 2014 by local, national and international artists during the 9th Annual Global Mural Conference. The first mural, unveiled Friday, is the public's favorite at this symposium, depicting a peace mural with two youths, entitled "Global Desire" by the German Steffen Junemann. It was mounted on the wall of a new residential and commercial building constructed on King Est, very close to the intersection of Papineau and Murray.
Choosing the Fleurimont Arrondissement to install these ten murals came naturally, relates the President of the Urban Murals for the Revitalization of Buildings and Social Reconciliation (MURIRS) collective, Serge Malenfant.
"Starting with the 'Progress' mural in the east, at the corner of King and South Bowen, people will not have to look hard to find the East Murals; it's a natural extension," he said. "Now there is a very palpable energy in this sector of the city, to which we wanted to attach ourselves."
The President of Destination Sherbrooke and Municipal Councilor in this arrondissement, Remi Demers, could not have been happier about this choice.
"We have been putting forth a lot of effort to embellish the neighborhood for a few years with the collaboration of business owners and the main streets. There was a metallic tree just a little higher up on King, urban furniture, the program for the renovation of facades. In addition, the murals are a project that the people have adopted. People are happy to see them," he confirms, agreeing that the murals of the East could make people jealous in the other arrondissements.
"This has always been the principle (to make others jealous)," retorts Mr. Malenfant while smiling. "Sherbrooke is a great open air gallery with its sculptures, its cenotaph, and the trompe-l'oeil murals are part of this gallery. As in a museum, there is something for all tastes."
There will be a second Art Mural Symposium of Sherbrooke this summer. The event is 99 percent ready, confirms MURIRS. We are still examining which section of the city could be embellished by the produced works.
As far as the murals of the city center are concerned - they add up to 14 - the collective will return to them later.
"There are some beautiful spaces in the city center at walking distance from other interesting works. But we are focused on other projects and other districts of the city for the time being. We also wanted to transcend our borders," said Mr. Malenfant, recalling that his organization is participating in a first international collective effort, in Yingtan, China, which will be revealed on May 2, 2015.
About the Work
"Global Desire" is a creation of the German artist Steffen Junemann, a trompe l'oeil specialist. The mural was completed with the contribution of 8th grade students. In the background of this mural we read the word "PEACE" in a white tone, a color that symbolizes peace. In the foreground, two teenagers hold a rope on which are attached five images produced by classmates. Like the other murals of Sherbrooke, "Global Desire" is documented in the interactive GPS-guided tours offered by BaladoDécouverte.
What is your favorite mural in your city? What do murals bring to neighborhoods? Share your mural choices in the comments area below.
Original article, originally published in French, here.
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.