August 12, 2018 2:08 pm
Updated: August 22, 2018 10:23 am

Festival organizers to bring ‘inspiration,’ ‘life’ with Edmonton’s largest mural

WATCH ABOVE: Another larger-than-life mural is coming to Edmonton. Albert Delitala has more on the artwork coming to the city's downtown.

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It started with the towering Okuda San Miguel mural, standing six storeys tall in Old Strathcona.

Annaliza Toledo and Trevor Peters of Rust Magic International Street Mural Festival are now trying to bring another big project to the city.

“We are crowdfunding for the largest mural in Edmonton, hopefully happening by the end of summer,” said Toledo.

Annaliza Toledo and Trevor Peters are mural artists in Edmonton

Courtesy: Kevin Tuong

Spanish street artist duo PichiAvo have been invited to create the downtown mural, and they’re already a little familiar with Edmonton.

“Okuda and PichiAvo know each other, so Okuda put in a good word for us because he had such a good time [in Edmonton],” said Toledo. “[PichiAvo] are renowned for mixing classic imagery with really modern style. It’s very impressive work and we’re so excited to bring them to Edmonton.”

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READ MORE: ‘The streets are for everyone’: renowned Spanish street artist almost finished 6-storey mural in Edmonton

Toledo and Peters have been hard at work highlighting local and international artists for years.

“We started the festival to bring inspiration back to Edmonton. We were born and raised here and noticed there was a lack of inspiring colour over the city, especially with it being winter for six to eight months over the year,” said Toledo. “We’ve always been very diligent to include local and international talent. We do [half and half].

San Miguel was the first through the festival’s third year.

“Then we worked with two local artists. Jill Stanton has a new mural that [went up two weeks ago] on the north side of Apple Dental Care and directly faces the weekly 124 Street Grand Market.”

The other was finished last week by Calgary artists Nasarimba, found on the east side of the Habesha African Market.

In total, Rust Magic is on track to complete 10 new murals by the end of summer.

“We always had a radar on blank walls and how we can really bring some vibrancy,” said Toledo. “Our whole mandate is to bring inspiration and life to the city. Gift the community with free public art that they can enjoy.”

LISTEN BELOW: Largest mural in Edmonton up next for summer of art fever

$15,000 in leftover crowdfunding cash from the Okuda San Miguel project is going towards the new venture, located on 103 Avenue and 106 Street directly in front of MacEwan University. The total campaign goal is $25,000.

“The artists are scheduled to come as early as next week; we might see it happening sooner than later,” said Toledo. “We’re hoping we can even raise funds while the mural is going up, so people can see the impact of the [art] they can still donate.”

READ MORE: New mural to blossom on YES Shelter in downtown Peterborough

Toledo said Edmontonians might be experiencing a bit of art fever.

“The [Okuda San Miguel] mural just made such an impact. It was such a spectacle,” said Toledo. “Even for me, it just does something to you. People can recognize the feeling of [art] and what it can do to you, just by standing in front of it.”

She believes people are excited to see more international and local art in the streets.

“We’ve done mentorship programs where we take on youth to help out these artists so they can learn from them and then hopefully create something themselves in the future. We always include local,” Toledo.

The concept of this project, the first for PichiAvo in Canada, is still under wraps.

The proposed wall downtown on the south facing wall of Jefferson Lofts

Courtesy: Rust Magic

“We haven’t seen a final concept yet, but you can expect something pretty mind-blowing, I’m sure,” said Toledo. “It’s a beautiful wall, great vantage point. We’re so excited to see what they come up with.”

According to Toledo, work could begin as early as Wednesday and last 10 to 12 days.

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