As an urban artist, there is perhaps no greater gift than a giant white wall to paint except perhaps the ability to do it without the threat of arrest and with the luxury of time to work on it. And though it is possible part your masterpiece will be covered over by other (and let’s admit, less skilled) aspirational artists, it will be visible to all for several years.
Mural Fest invites masters of spray paint to cover a public wall, sometimes multiple stories high, with a work. Local Montreal artists dominate the list, but some come from abroad: Spain, France, Austria, Mexico, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, and the US. 20 new murals are being added to the previous 30, resulting in 50 pieces along St. Laurent and its environs. Artists to see are Melissa del Pinto, MC Baldassari, Astro, Jaz, Bicicleta Sem Freio, A-Shop’s Earth Crusher, Benny Wilding, and more!
While the Mural painting has been underway all weekend, the MURAL festival continues this week with many events that are worth checking out.
Take a Tour
The murals are so beloved by the city that there are tours to see them. For $10 ($5 with OPUS card), there are two different tours presented until June 14. For those who are extra crazy, the Silent Disco squad will do a Mural Tour on June 14 at 1 p.m. (pwyc)
Eat at Grill St. Laurent
On June 8-10, the Food Trucks will arrive en masse between Mt. Royal and Marie Anne. There is also a special cooking competition, the Grill St. Laurent Festival, that takes place on June 8-10. The chefs of St. Laurent are offering a $5 plate so that everyone can taste the vareity of flavours. The highlight, though is the cook-off, where the St. Laurent restauranteurs compete for the best grilled dish. Judging is M. David McMillan of Joe Beef, Gaelle Cerf of Grumman78, and Kimberly Lallouz of Miss Prêt à Manger. Who is competing? Frite Alors!, McKibbin’s, Buonanotte, Diablos Smokehouse Saloon, Med Express Pizza, Burrito Shop,Boucherine Hongroise, Main Deli, La Vieille Europe, Coco Rico, Momo Sushi, Laika, Portus Calle, and Omnivore.
Along with the Festival are a number of talks about Street Art taking place at Excentris from June 9-11. On June 9, meet FONKi, a Montreal based French artist whose parents escape the Khmer Rouge genocide. FONKi is known for signature portrait murals that appear worldwide. (4-5:30 p.m. $10). He’ll be followed by Claude Provencher, architect and the mastermind behind a number of impressive buildings in the city. (6:30-8 p.m. $10). On June 10, listen to photojournalist Martha Cooper documented the NYC graffiti scene of the 1970s and ’80s. (4-5:30 p.m. $20). Co-founder of Burning Man, Crimson Rose, will have plenty to talk about art and large scale art works. Fuck, this is a co-founder of Burning MAN!!!! (6:30-8 p.m. $20). On June 11, Lola Plaku, Slava Pastuk, and Zach Macklovitch will talk about building a brand as a panel (4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.). Finally, there is a A free talk and documentary on Montreal’s street art economy with panelists Jason Botkin, Omen, André Bathalon, and Emily Robertson (6:30 – 8 p.m).
The Excentris is also hosting a series of films related to street art. June 11 is The Legend of Cool Disco Dan (7 p.m.). This film recounts the story of Cool “Disco’ Dan who was born during the Civil Rights era and whose life paralleled events such as Marion Barry’s rise and fall. This homeless man used graffiti to address the problems of the 1980s when Washing D.C. was known as the Murder Capital. June 12 is Eden (7 p.m.) by Mia Hansen-Love. The film is about the meteoric rise of Paul and his best friend. On the 13th, catch Nychos (The Deepest Depths of the Burrow), a documentary about the rise of a graffiti artist NYCHOS (1 p.m.) All shows $10.
A dance and music party takes place the weekend of the 12-14. A dance competition has its final rounds from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the main area of Mural Fest on June 12. Osheaga brings some DJs for a block party on June 13th at St. Laurent and Prince Arthur. Guests include Salva, GoldLink, Branchez, Royall, J.u.D., and Boston Chery.(2 p.m. – 11 p.m., $5) Finally, Fool’s Gold records hosts its musical offerings on June 14. DJs include A-Trak, STWO, Post Malone, Rome Fortune, High Klassified, Simahlak, Shash’u, Nick Catchdubs, and Dave Luxe. (2 p.m. – 10 p.m., $12.50)