BUMP, the annual street art festival that takes place throughout the downtown core, the Beltline area and other parts of the city, started the party on Saturday, August 5 with its Graffiti Jam at High Park — the rooftop public space on City Centre Parkade along on 10 Ave. SW.
In the proceeding weeks, talented artists from Canada as well as different countries will make their way to Calgary to begin creating murals at select locations in the city. Priya Ramesh, Marketing and Communications Manager for BUMP, says this upcoming year is set to be a special one.
“This year we have one of our biggest artists coming in, an artist named Wosnan. He’s coming from Rota, Columbia. He’s going to be our international artist this year and he’s going to paint a really massive mural on the Beltline,” Ramesh said.
“We’re also doing a mural this year with Cirque du Soleil. This is the first time we’re doing a mural with them, and on a pretty big wall. We have an artist coming in from Montreal, Milkbox, so those are gonna be like two pretty big headlining murals for us.”
The BUMP is also set to have local artists participating as well.
Bruno Canadien is from the town of Diamond Valley (formerly Black Diamond) 60 kilometres south of Calgary, and will be a part of this year’s line up. For Canadien, painting locally on a scale as big as BUMP is something he’s been looking forward to.
“I’m happy to participate and really looking forward to seeing what the other artists produce, I think it’s a great festival and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Mural creating process
The process of creating a mural is much different from the creation process of other forms of art, which Canadien shed light upon.
“The process is totally different for sure. In the studio you can work on a painting for months. Even go back to it and put in layers and put it away for a while and come back to it and, you know, work on it really, really work on it,” Canadien said.
“A mural, it’s more instantaneous, you only get a certain set amount of time, maybe a week or two. The difference between mural work and painting in a studio, is for mural work you have to have the idea ahead of time pretty well completely planned out.”
Carolyn Wong, whose artist’s name is Seeroro, is also painting a wall in the festival and discussed the differences and challenges when creating a mural.
“There’s a lot of problem solving with every project site, taking into consideration what surface you’re painting on, what dimensions you’re working with, how you’re going to access the wall, and then just managing a site itself. It kind of feels like you’re working at a construction site, you know, you got to think about safety,” Wong said.
“You have to think about, efficiency, how to use materials and budget for that, and what’s going to help you achieve what you want to do.”
What it means to be a part of BUMP
Wong’s journey to BUMP is quite a bit longer as she is located in Vancouver British Columbia, but she shares the same excitement as Canadien in terms of being able to be a part of the festival this year.
“I’m just really thankful for the opportunity to be to have been chosen, there were a lot of applications,” Wong said.
“This is a very big platform to be featured in. My entire mural painting career, you know, is fairly fresh. I haven’t been doing this forever. It’s been probably my third year of painting and festivals have just played a huge role in helping me build my career as an artist overall.”
Anaïs Lera is another featured artist in this year’s festival who talked about being inspired by other murals when she was a child in France and discussed the pride and honour she would feel if her mural in Calgary could do the same for young artists.
“As someone who got all these gifts from other artists, but they didn’t know that they did something to inspire me to not only become an artist, but also realize that it is possible to do this and that you can sustain yourself doing this. I find this very inspiring,” Lera said.
Lera will be painting at Walls Alive on 17 Ave. SW. While Wong will be at 625 – 11 Ave. SW, and Canadien has yet to get a location as he will be starting his mural in September.
For all your up-to-date information on this year’s BUMP Festival including artist bios, the event calendar and more be sure to check out yycbump.ca