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[PhotoSparks] How street art can revitalise a city and showcase community creativity

Madanmohan Rao
25th Jun 2016
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PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In this photo essay, we feature some of the outstanding works of street art from Montreal’s Mural Fest 2016!

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In the earlier 90 posts, we brought you a wide range of creative photographs from an art fair, world music festival, painting fair, telecom expo, art museum, mobile showcase, math museum, social hackathon, bookstore, co-working space, sensorium, international design week, flower show, outdoor ads, startup roadshow, computer museum, startup T-shirts, business cards, art therapy, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, Vesak, jazz festival, modern art gallery, ecopreneurs, painter-poets, health activists, eNGOs and digital innovators.

Street art is gaining new legitimacy as a form of urban creativity, community expression and awareness about social change. Many cities now have mural festivals and street art tours. Modern mural art has gone way beyond the early graffiti years and showcases sophisticated new techniques. Bogota, Berlin and Los Angeles have notable street art festivals and Philadelphia even offers a Mural Arts Program.

My travels this month brought me to Montreal for the annual Summer School on Creativity, and the Montreal International Jazz Festival. The city also hosts the Mural Fest every June, the largest street art event in North America. It attracted an estimated one million visitors this year for its third edition, according to festival co-founder Andre Bathalon.

The urban art by local and overseas artists (from Mexico, Argentina and Spain) now adorns prominent neighbourhood walls, and not just the sides of warehouses or parking lots. The festival also featured talks, workshops and films on urban street art. Twenty new murals have been painted, some of which are showcased in this photo essay along with other public works of art in Montreal as well as exhibits at the partner gallery, Station16.

“Art brings culture and creativity to a city, reminding its citizens of the beauty around them,” says Adam Vieira, Artistic Director of Galerie Station16. “Art can make life more meaningful, and connect us in ways that language sometimes can’t. Remember that,” he adds.

Now when will your city host a street art festival?

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Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

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