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My journey to the Murals Without Walls with Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture at
the Vancouver Mural Festival. At Murals Without Walls – The Experience
by Althea Adams
Wow!!! Day One – what a high of excitement and lack of rest, starting off with a mind
full of excitement.
We all meet up at the City Centre Motel – Artist Studios on 6th and Main Street at the
back under tents introductions and a meeting with Murals Without Walls founder
Wendy Oberlander. Already seeing the space, am eager to start and loving this space
where we will create. We are hit with another surprise – another phase – our murals
will be enlarged and put up on Main Street. WT… !!!, who is able to paint now! Have
to take all this excitement and new info in – wow! July 8 to 11, 2022 and I needed all
days and hours to complete my mural and I did it!
The opening up of many things, I am out of my comfort zone, however in safe space
with other artists and in high energy, communication and creating art. I had closed
myself off from the world and retreated into the privacy of painting and care in
isolation. I am now in my zone and on another world of Artist Creation energy. We
are all working so well, feeling the high energy, positivity, respect, and connectedness
to each other. Lots of politeness, helpfulness, and sharing.
I shared the vision of my mural with one of the other artists and Wendy and felt so
safe doing so in this connected space of sharing and artistry. We all had very different
visions, art styles, and painting styles, and that was great.
OMG working with spray paints is so fun and easy flowing for me – a new love and
respect for spray painting, so bold, bright and covers so well. Again, I am in my flow.
Also, it opened me up to painting with people around and watching. This was a great
experience, I am now okay to paint with others around in certain situation. The
openness of the space allowed viewing from people who walked by, and their
encouragement and appreciation and cheering us on gave such a boost.
The week painting was perfect, sunshine, the early days were good temperature and
the last day was warmer, however there were tents and Wendy made sure of our
mental wellness and hydration, providing good healthy foods, snacks and drinks. She
also made sure that we took breaks because when in the flow, the hours pass by
quickly without a thought of how long it was. Wendy made the whole experience
great through positive encouragements, appreciation and daily messages, thoughtful
communication and care. Thank you, Wendy.
The VMF staff who were on site were helpful and encouraging and positive and
friendly, making sure we had our murals and space and material that we needed. The
volunteers were just as excited and there to help. Thank you.
Was it perfect, no, however we were all learning and teaching what improvements
will be helpful for artists and their experience working on future murals; some minor
It was high energy positive space, outdoors in the sunshine, a space so colourful and
vibrant and uplifting, a real creative space. Great care of our mental health and
wellness, receiving so much laughter and high energy. A dream accomplished and at
the right season and moment, especially good for me to move forward, get out of my
head of the passing of my beautiful loving dog Orshia, at the end of last month.
Advice to anyone who has the wish to do a mural – start out smaller, apply to Murals
Without Walls as it will help you on your way to open up to doing larger scale murals.
And I recommend to those who are ready, that you apply with Vancouver Mural
Festival, as they have opportunities for artists who are able to do free hand. And for
those just beginning, who need help and guided tools, the staff are experienced and
helpful with all knowledge of tools/technology to assist you and they are friendly and
enthusiastic to see you succeed. There also are many helpful friendly volunteers who
appreciate and love art. It was, and is, an eye and heart opening experience, that keeps
opening many doors of opportunities and spiritual, mental and creative growth.
Althea Adams Infinite Artistry
@InfiniteArtistry FB @ainfiniteartistry IG
Innovative creative visual artist expressing her art as a spirit, aspects of reflection of
her and her mental and spiritual journey. Her visions that are now seen visually as an
expressive art form shown through her eyes. Participating in art exhibitions around
Vancouver who inclusive of all, such as the VOAF/Touring show and Vancouver
Outsiders and Others. Seeking to showcase her talent in Vancouver Community and
around the world.
Journey to Mural Without Walls:
with Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture at the Vancouver Mural Festival
by Althea Adams
I have always wanted to paint a mural. It is on my ‘bucket list’ and I was not quite at that stage yet, constantly learning and improving my artistry to get there.
I volunteered and worked on 2 mural projects of others (part of my bucket list) and learned some new things while receiving valuable experience. I loved it and had so much fun!
Now with Kickstart’s Murals Without Walls (MWW) I get to do it for myself: my work and project. This is such a surreal opportunity and experience. My energy is high and I appreciate and thank Kickstart for this wonderful opportunity!!! They have been encouraging and helpful every step of the way. I also offer my appreciation to the Vancouver Mural Festival; I hear they will have people there to assist in anything we need to work on our murals.
On Saturday, June 25, 2022, I joined in on the City Centre Opening Weekend Block Party to experience the energy and take a look at the Artist Studios at the City Centre Motor Hotel, where the Vancouver Mural Festival kick-off was. I am very interested in renting of one of these studios that are available at an affordable cost.
It was a high-energy and positive space and included an outdoor disco, art, connection, and enjoyment: great for mental health and wellness. I received and experienced so much laughter and high energy. It was especially beneficial in helping me to move forward and get out of my head, as my beautiful dog, Orshia, had passed at the end of the previous month.
I met some wonderful artists in the studios, all vivacious and informative, great people. I refer to it as “a kaleidoscope and collage of artistry” in one place, or as Ehren Salazar said, “…like a bee hive.” It was my pleasure meeting and talking with all of the artists and others in attendance!
The Opening Weekend Block Party was a consumer and artist’s dream! I will be checking out more of these studios. There are so many creative arts that it can be tough to decide, especially when one is a lover of the arts.
Check out some of the featured artists:
- Enigma Arcana Design: www.instagram.com/enigmaarcana
- Ehren Salazar Artworks: www.instagram.com/monsterdinosaur
- Niki Brown, Arts and Body Worker: www.nikibrown.ca
- Happy Nomad Candles by Hayley Crichton: www.instagram.com/happynomadcandles
- Primordial Gems by Clare Taylor: www.primordialgems.com
- Elana Signal Design: www.elanasigal.com
- Mallory Donen, Multidisciplinary Artist: www.instagram.com/mallorydonen
- whatsherface by Laura McInnes: www.instagram.com/whatsher.face
- Ilena Lee Pottery: www.ilenaleepottery.com
The Vancouver Mural Festival runs August 4 – 14, 2022. Come and join in on the fun and receive some creative energy!
Kickstart Disability Arts & Culture
Innovative creative visual artist expressing her art as a spirit, aspects of reflection of her and her mental and spiritual journey. Her visions that are now seen as an expressive art form shown through her eyes. Participating in art exhibitions around Vancouver who are inclusive of all, such as the Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival/Touring show and Vancouver Outsiders and Others. Seeking to showcase her talent in Vancouver Community and around the world.