Archive for August, 2009


Swap Box Project rolls into Montreal…

There’s treasure everywhere, if you know where to look…


Street Art and Street Love

Well, I’m getting settled in here in Montreal and am already working on another street piece (which you’ll see soon). While there certainly is a lot more graffiti here than in Ottawa, it seems to be mostly spray-can throw-ups and murals and seems to be lacking a bit in the installation streetart department.

It’s also said that Montreal is a far more bike-friendly city than Ottawa, but they don’t tell you about the hills or the no-right-on-red rule that clogs intersections…

I found these great pictures while looking up interesting streetart projects. They’re part of Brugge’s Streetlove project, which has the goal of “creating an interaction between people and love represented by objects, words or paintings on the streets, this with the aim that people think and rethink their relationship, their own situation and about love itself.” (according to a li’l blurb on Wooster Collective)

I absolutely love this stuff, and it makes me want to round up some discarded furniture and transform a downtown corner into a speed-dating center , picnic spot or chess-game station.


Swagger Like Me

Our Mayor Larry is now an action figure as part of the “Li’l City Hall Playset”. He comes with Mayoral Briefcase and 0% Chain of Office. Make him swagger and do battle with his arch-enemies Light-Rail Luke, Panhandling Patty and Terry Kilrea!

(Text @ bottom reads: ‘ “Mayor Larry” is (c) John Baird. Rights reserved.’ )


Urban Pranksterism

Recently I stumbled upon the wonderfully awesome Urban Prankster blog, which features some of the best street art and pranksterism I’ve seen in a long time. So check it out.

This is my favourite.

One of the main reasons for my still enjoying the act of making and putting up streetart has to do with its ability to amuse and entertain the public.I’ve seen kids run up to swap boxes, look inside and then beckon their parents to come over and exchange something of their own for the treasures inside. A lot of the work on this blog fits that notion perfectly…

Just today I was walking by a vine-covered wall and thought it’d be a neat idea to put up a big wheatpaste stencil of Laocoon in behind the Virginia Creeper. But I’m somewhat of a Classics nerd like that…
Although something interesting’s coming in the next few days…


Nuit Blanche coming up in Toronto…

Nuit Blanche, a one-night sunset-to-sunrise art festival featuring more than 500 artists, is coming up on October 3rd.

If you don’t know about Nuit Blanche, then I invite you to check out the link. I myself am looking forward to being part of Montreal’s Nuit Blanche in a couple of months… invited or not.

Nuit Blanche is an absolutely fascinating experience. For one night, urban spaces are magically transformed and thousands of people set about on art-finding odysseys and adventures. In a way it’s a little bit like the Swap Box Project writ large- it transforms spaces into places of discovery and brings together people who otherwise might never meet.


News Bulletin- Free Art Today!

Later this afternoon (Thurs. the 13th of August), the first ever Ottawa Free Art Gallery Program is scheduled to set up shop on Bank Street (between the Queensway and Fifth Avenue in the Glebe)

So keep your eyes peeled for art hung up on walls, lamp poles, mailboxes…and if you see something you like it’s free to a good home!

And I’d like to invite all of you to check out the incredibly creepy and macabre works of Zdzislaw Bekinski…a memento mori for all times.

Edit: and some pictures from the gallery opening…



Roadsworth is a Montreal-based street artist who works with stencils and road paint to transform street symbols such as divider lines and pedestrian crossings into something else entirely.

He is a master of site-specific art, turning two parallel white lines into anything from a bandolier to an extension cord with a stencil and paints. His wonderful work is all over the streets of Montreal, so keep your eyes to the ground the next time you find yourself there.


Break out the ark…

It’s rained a lot this summer.

That’s an understatement. According to Environment Canada, this past July was Ottawa’s rainiest since 1899, and it brought us only six rainless days. As I’ve seen it, the 31st seemed to be the only day this past month where a prediction of potential rain did not come true, as any other day with the potential of rainfall invariably brought it pouring down in buckets.

Thus I made this…

On one hand, it’s good that it hasn’t rained so far today. But this’d look a lot more, well, realistic for Ottawa if it were overcast..


SAW Gallery show- Animal House

The SAW Gallery’s got a new exhibition on, titled “Animal House- Works of Art Made By Animals”, which is running until September 26th.
You all should check it out, and not just because it’s free.

From an X Press article:

“The concept of animals creating art isn’t nearly as esoteric as it sounds. Indeed, since the late 1950s, art made by animals has become a thriving, if not oft ignored, industry existing on the periphery of the contemporary art world. Early paintings from chimpanzees, for example, captured the public’s attention due to their often striking similarity to the abstract and impressionist movements of the time, while more recent paintings from trained elephants are currently en vogue among collectors.

Animal House, however, may just be the first exhibit to present an in-depth and all-encompassing look into this rarely seen artistic world. The exhibit is the brainchild of SAW Gallery’s curator Stefan St-Laurent, who was inspired by his own growing collection of animal art. “Initially we wanted to look at the exploitative work coming out of research and wildlife preserves and offer a critical viewpoint,” says St-Laurent. “But the more we looked into it, the more we decided that we really wanted to offer a comprehensive experience so people can appreciate the intellectual and creative capacities of animals.”

The family-friendly exhibit offers up three different
kinds of animal art: works from trained animal artists, naturally occurring animal works, and collaborations between animal and human artists. Among the roster of artists on display are some of the most prolific of both the two-legged and four-legged variety. Carry on the Back, for example, is a lush, multicoloured painting created by Ramona, a trained elephant artist from the Maesa Elephant Camp in Thailand. The abstract painting looks almost like something one would expect to find on the wall of a contemporary art gallery and seems to have a surprisingly complex structure, and the deliberate brushstrokes of a skilled painter. Similarly, Tongue Tied is a beautiful and strangely fascinating abstract work painted by Kamala, an elephant from the world renowned Calgary Zoo.”


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