BUMP festival brings 16 new murals to Calgary’s Beltline

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WATCH: Calgary’s Beltline neighbourhood is getting a new splash of colour this week, as artists around the world participate in the BUMP Festival. Adam MacVicar reports – Aug 28, 2019

Over the next four days, Calgary’s Beltline neighbourhood is getting a new splash of colour.

It’s all part of the Beltline Urban Mural Project Festival (BUMP), which will see 16 new murals being painted throughout the neighbourhood.

“We’re holding this festival to bring more art and more vibrancy to downtown Calgary and especially the Beltline,” BUMP mural coordinator Kay Gallivan said.

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The festival is entering its third year and artists from Alberta and around the world are painting their latest masterpieces on building walls across the Beltline. The festival also includes mural tours, workshops and artist talks.

Fathima Mohiuddin, also known as Fats, is an Indian-Canadian artist commissioned to paint a piece on the corner of 6 Street and 11 Avenue S.W.

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Her piece “Migration” features eight Canadian geese.

Fathima Mohiuddin’s mural called “Migration,” painted on the corner of 6th Street and 11th Avenue SW. Global News
“It’s a contrast of what it’s like to be an immigrant and be governed by borders,” Mohiuddin said. “[It’s] tapping into the freedom of geese who migrate for innate survival reasons and don’t have to worry about borders or immigration and are free.”

Painting this piece, especially in Calgary, has sentimental value for Mohiuddin.

“The really special reason I decided to paint this particular piece here about migration and immigration is because Calgary is actually where my family landed in 1992 during the first Gulf War,” she said.

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According to the organizers, mural festivals are still new in cities around the world.

“A lot of muralists talk about how, a few years ago, the mural movement blew up in a way and you see a lot of mural festivals in cities all over the world,” Gallivan said. “A lot of the artists that we brought in are from around the world and go to a lot of these festivals and that’s something that’s pretty new.”

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Artists participating in BUMP said the trend of mural art has been gaining popularity over the years, which they believe stems from its accessibility.

“I think artists work in public spaces because they believe that art has the ability to have an impact on the space around it,” Mohiuddin said. “Its a way of communicating and connecting with people in a way that’s a little bit more free and accessible than closed spaces.”

The mural on the right is one of many painted at the 2019 BUMP Festival. Global News

This year’s festival features 16 artists, a big step up from the four murals painted during the first year of the festival.

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BUMP 2019 runs from Aug. 28 to 31 and when it’s all said and done, the total number of murals painted in the Beltline as part of the festival will be 31.

BUMP is funded by the Beltline Community Association with help from TD.

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