Mural Festival livens up Montreal with art and music

The vibrant multimedia event celebrates its 10th year

By Faith Langston

August 24, 2021

Montreal has welcomed internationally known mural artists whose dedication surpasses the limits of most people’s imagination. To paint Dazzle My Heart on the facade of the Hotel Le Germain, a mural that is 171 feet high and uses 80 different colours, Michelle Hoogveld and two other artists worked on a swing stage high above the ground for most of July.

june barry mural festival

June Barry mural – Image: courtesy of the Mural Festival

Murals come down, not quite to earth, however, at a venue on 3527 Blvd St-Laurent. In front of the exhibit is a wooden fence with a stencil-like work, June Barry’s wolves and flames – Gatekeepers and burning fires. Having entered the venue, we see her large striking mysteriously evocative figurative bodies. Perhaps they wait for some ineffable message.

BirdO aka Jerry Rugg makes use of angles and drop shadows and an awareness of surfaces to create his striking hybrid geometric surreal animals. The internationally recognized artist gives a nod to his graffiti roots, back lanes of cities like Toronto, where he has truly honed his craft and signature style.

jerry rugg mural festival

Outdoor stage with BirdO aka Jerry Rugg mural – Image: courtesy of the Mural Festival

Belgium Moon by Marc-Olivier Lamothe adds a lighter note to the group of murals. With primary colours, he paints fish, clouds, boat, fruit, and the moon, which work together to successfully bring about a joyous, gratifying work.

Outdoor performances by Coeur de Pirate, DVSN, Skiifall, Pierre Kwenders, High Klassifed, Sarahmée, Night Lovell, Robert Robert and more artists on open-air stages make this a vibrant multimedia event. The afternoon I attended the exhibition, LAROI (Gab Godon) gave a spirited performance. Her upcoming EP, The Speed of Life, an “ode to the wild and raw, simple and gracious nature of our spirits,” is sure to make waves.

Belgian Moon mural festival

Belgian Moon by Marc-Olivier Lamothe – Image: Yasuko Tadakoro

Mural Festival ran from August 12 to 22 and has received support from the Conseil des arts du Canada.

Feature image: Dazzle My Heart by Michelle Hoogveld, courtesy of Hôtels Le Germain

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Read also: other articles by Faith Langston

Faith Langston is a Concordia graduate with a long-standing interest in theatre. For the last ten years, she has worked as a literacy tutor with the Jamaican Association.


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