By Sydney Honsberger-Grant
Photos By Grace Honsberger-Grant
Art: that elective you bemoaned in junior high, or the theme of all too many boring museums. It can sometimes be difficult to recognize the arts amidst pretentious critics and excessive air conditioning, but there is no denying that art can have a profound and positive value in society. Calgary’s Public Art Policy acknowledges this power, noting that art engages citizens with their urban environment by attracting creative folk and encouraging reflection. To put it plainly, overall enjoyment of our city relies heavily on the artwork within.
It is uplifting to know, then, that Calgary hosts an abundance of street art that challenge any preconceived ideas of art appreciation. You’ll find a wide range of sizes and styles painted on Calgary’s walls, and every piece embodies a refreshing sense of playfulness – a reminder that art can enliven communities without being confined to a museum. Enjoying street art is as simple as taking a post-work stroll or making a few stops on your bike ride home, and goes hand-in-hand with beautiful summer weather.
This short walk or bike from downtown highlights some of Calgary’s most notable pieces, including works from artists Earthfolk and Jarett Sitter. The route takes you through several interesting parts of town before ending in Kensington, where you can play your own version of art critic on the banks of the Bow.
Keep an eye out for street art in other areas, too. Calgary is alive with alleyway artwork and overpass opuses, and it’s fun to spot street art in different neighborhoods. All it takes is a little creativity, proper footwear, and some free time, and you’ll forget you ever felt reluctant about art at all.
Sydney is a recent graduate from the University of British Columbia, where she studied chemistry, math, and Earth sciences. She is now pursuing a career in the environmental field with hopes to return to the west coast. She fills her free time with coffee, novels, and watercolours.