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Montreal MURAL Public Art Festival bigger and better than ever (pictures)

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Montreal MURAL Public Art Festival – Like art? There will be plenty of it on display at this year’s MURAL Public Art Festival between June 7-17 in the free-access pedestrian zone located on Boulevard St. Laurent between Sherbrooke St. and Mont Royal Avenue. Now in its 6th year the international public art festival will feature art exhibits and installations, music bands, and the creation of 20 new murals bringing the number in the permanent collection to over 80. These colourful large-scale art-works have become a symbol of Montreal’s panache attracting attention from art lovers at home and around the globe. The giant paintings can be viewed simply by walking, biking, or driving through the tourist sector going north from the Quartier des spectacles downtown near Place des arts all the way up to the trendy Mile End neighbourhood in Le Plateau Mont-Royal. 

The festival is partnering with IleSoniq again this year along with newbies Fido, Hennessy, and Fool’s Gold to expand its musical platform. MURAL FEST will be putting on two free music concerts on each weekend book-ending the 11-day event. The public art festival is made possible by the financial support of the Société de développement du boulevard Saint-Laurent, along with the city of Montreal, borough of Plateau Mont-Royal, STM, Conseils des arts de Montréal, and Tourisme  Montréal. The SDBSL’s own popular Grill Saint-Laurent culinary event will be taking place on the last weekend in the main zone of the fest an added incentive for wearied-wintry citizens to get out there and catch some rays while they check out what the Montreal urban art scene is all about. MURAL is also selling tickets to its VIP and other special events. Details and tickets are available at muralfestival.com, on its Facebook page, and mobile app.

One of the star attractions of the festival is “ARTBLAST” a sculptural installation by Kate Raudenbush a multidisciplinary artist from New York. The luminous sculpture is the centrepiece of the MURAL Enchanted Forest/la Forêt enchantée lululemon in Parc du Portugal near Boulevard St. Laurent. Raudenbush’s large-scale allegorical sculptures convey a sense of other-worldliness resonating with social and environmental themes and are meant to be experienced rather than simply observed. “I strive to create enveloping environments and sacred spaces that invite both intellectual curiosity and soulful connection,” she says. Her immersive sculptures are engineering feats developed through 3-D rendering software and make use of everything from industrial machining to solar power. 

Lululemon Montréal is presenting an interview with Kate Raudenbush  at 5 pm on June 8th at the park’s speakeasy. This promises to be a big draw because of the artist’s high profile. Raudenbush is in the creative vanguard of the fiery Burning Man Project so-named after the Burning Man Festival an annual interactive community arts event which takes place in a temporary city in the late-summer in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada culminating in the burning of an effigy known as “The Man” – a testimony to the transient nature of the festival. Raudenbush created the first Burning Man sculpture to be collected for the permanent collection in a US museum in 2007. Her work and words have been published, and exhibited in art museums from Seoul to Reno, in international art fairs from Miami to the Hamptons, and in festivals from Amsterdam to Las Vegas, Santiago Chile, San Francisco, and New York City. 

By: Deborah Rankin – info@mtltimes.ca

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