A Regina organization is in search of artists to help create a mural in the foot tunnel underneath the north section of the Albert Street Memorial Bridge.
The idea was inspired by local runner and musician Jeffery Straker, who posted the idea to social media after jogging through the tunnel.
Straker estimates he’s run through the tunnel a thousand times in the last 10 years and kept noticing city employees painting over or washing off graffiti.
During the 2020 mayoral campaign he heard then-candidate Sandra Masters talk about efficiencies.
“I thought, wow, what if we reimagined this whole thing and instead of paying city employees who I’m sure would rather be doing other things than to keep covering up graffiti, what if we use resources to turn this into an art gallery?” Straker said.
The Cathedral Village Arts Festival (CVAF) is looking for artists that will incorporate three themes in their design, including recognition of the land and history of Wascana Creek, which is derived from the Cree word ‘oskana.’
The design should also incorporate the CVAF’s 30th anniversary, focusing on the theme of ‘pearl.’ There will also be space available designated as a “free wall” where artists won’t have to follow a theme.
CVAF vice-chair, Janet Brown, said the CVAF has done many murals and community art projects in the past.
“This seemed like the perfect canvas and once we heard about the idea we were very eager to be involved,” Brown said.
The selected artist will be responsible for preparations, supplies and finishing work. They’ll need to use paint that can withstand exterior and weather conditions.
Brown said painting can begin once overnight temperatures hit a minimum of 10 C.
There will also be a limited lifespan on the mural, which will be the decision of the CVAF committee and keeping in mind the art maintenance plan. A press release from the CVAF said the mural will last no longer than a few years, and these murals will be renewed yearly on a rotating schedule.
Artists must have flexible ability to complete the project due to weather conditions.
Artists living within Regina city limits are invited to apply to create the mural. Applicants under 18 will need parental permission to apply and will need parental supervision during the project.
The CVAF is looking for both new and established artists, and is actively seeking Indigenous artists.