By Sandra Neill, Director at Large, CHCA
The Crescent Heights Community Association (CHCA) is thrilled to announce that with funding from the City of Calgary’s Parking Reinvestment Fund, three artists will be collaborating on a mural on the sidewalk and retaining wall along Centre St from Samis Road to 7th Ave NE.
In the summer of 2019, the CHCA had an engagement session with residents about this area and interviewed pedestrians. This hilly climb up to Crescent Heights was described as a long and boring walk (perceived to take 15-20 minutes when it is about 7 minutes), loud and hectic with cars speeding by, claustrophobic (pedestrians and cyclists navigate around as this is the only sidewalk), and unsafe (there are no “eyes” on the street since there are no businesses or residences along here). When asked what might change the perception of this space, residents overwhelmingly replied “colour, art, something to look at”. Through this engagement, the vision for this space took on the moniker “Magic Walk,” and the existing space (as of Aug 2020) was referred to some as the “Walk of Doom.”
In late July, artists Sydonne Warren, Tyler Lemermeyer, and Cory Bugden, were selected by a jury of five people (all who either work or live in Crescent Heights and two of them artists themselves). In early August there was an engagement session on Zoom where residents contributed some of their ideas for the project and gave feedback on the artist’s initial “mood boards.” The artist will be painting phase 1 of the project Sept 11-13. Want to help paint? Sign-up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040c48a9a72ea0fe3-painting
Let’s meet the artists who will transform the Walk of Doom into the Magic Walk:
Cory Bugden is a Canadian illustrator based out of Calgary. Originally a graphic designer for an agency that served clients like Oakley, Speedo, and Red Bull, Cory decided to further his artistic capabilities at the Alberta University of the Arts (AU Arts) in 2016, completing his degree in 2020. Cory uses bright colours with a fun and whimsical illustration style that can force a smile on anyone’s face. When he grows up, Cory wants to be a studio-owner, creative director, children’s book illustrator, and amateur freestyle rapper. Cory would like to bring colour and fun to this project.
Tyler Lemermeyer lives and works out of Calgary, where he received a B.F.A from AU Arts and Diploma from the Vancouver Film School. Tyler has successfully worked on a variety of different projects whose clients include (Honda, New Jersey Devils, BRON, NFB, Tourism France, YYCBUMP) where he used his skills as an animator, illustrator and most recently a muralist. Tyler specializes in working with agencies to create branded illustrated content but his favourite line of work is creating large scale murals. Tyler limits his palette to create bold, vibrant and eye-catching graphics that aim to find the perfect balance between realism and abstraction. Tyler is planning to incorporate elements that are unique to Crescent Heights and use bold, energizing colours, and abstract patterns and shapes to transform the space from drab to fab.
Sydonne (“Syd”) Warren is a Calgary based visual artist who began her self-taught art journey in 2013. Sydonne has developed into a professional artist, instructor and designer and finally a student at AU Arts. Her artwork showcases a combination of high contrasted subjects, bold but straightforward colour palettes, and a mixture of expressive strokes, drips and rigid lines. Sydonne’s themes are usually a reflection of herself and her desire for people of the African diaspora not only to occupy but impact and own space. Syd brings her perspective as a former immigrant who has been immersed in Calgary for most of her life and has witnessed the crossover and collisions of the various cultures that coexists in the city. Sydonne would like to bring portraits and architectural elements reflecting the diversity in Crescent Heights as well as bring some playful interactive components to the mural.
Check out the progress of the mural in real life or online on Facebook and Instagram @chcayyc and stay tuned for a video about the project by James Reckseidler, Crescent Heights resident and filmmaker!