MURAL Festival X Stella Artois
There is no aspect of life the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected – and many of us are turning to cultural events and art online to get a sense of something vibrant and real. Thankfully, street artists all over the world have ventured out into quiet streets and left behind amusing and sometimes a little bit provocative commentary on the crisis.
—By Marie-Ève Venne
Like other major artistic events, MURAL Festival also had to rethink its ways of doing things.
The festival is now teaming up with Stella Artois to give a positive spin to social distancing. From August 13 to 23, Stella Artois and MURAL are launching an outdoor installation on St-Laurent Boulevard that aims to create a safe space for people along with bringing more traffic around local restaurants.
“We were approached by Zach Macklovitch from Suwu, because he already had contacts with Stella Artois and he had heard that they wanted to make a street art initiative. We were looking for sponsors who were bold enough to want to set up a project during covid, because it’s harder to get sponsorship at the moment. Their initiative was just right on with what we wanted to do. The idea was authentic and promised not to denature the work of the artists while promoting social distancing” explains Nicolas Munn Rico, co-founder of MURAL.
This immersive art experience includes the 46-metre-long Stella Artois Terrace operated by SuWu and Warehouse restaurants south of Prince Arthur. Stella Artois wants to promote these meeting moments in a safe and responsible manner. They hired local artist Francorama (a.k.a. Franco Égalité) to design a space that makes clever use of contrasting shapes, lines and colors to help visitors maintain social distance while transforming the space in which they come to hang out and interact one with the other.
The main attraction of the hallway is the shared terrace, which presents bright and edifying illustrations created by Francorama – and which transforms into a safe place where you can share a drink with your friends.
MURAL festival. Artist Francorama
“We had already worked with Francorama on our online launch. We were looking for artists who could create live projections while musical artists were performing. That’s when we discovered his style that we really like. His style is also very similar in terms of what Stella Artois wanted in regarding the overall look for the terrace, especially for the colors. So, it was a perfect match for the project” declares Munn Rico.
The inspirational elements of the art installation will spill over into the surrounding streets and sidewalks in the form of artwork that will encourage pedestrians to walk in one direction only, while smaller rooms will be shared with other bars and restaurants in the area to encourage respect for social distancing protocols along with bringing more traffic to the establishments.
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