Annie and her cow

… and rooster … and tractor.. paintings in Napanee Ontario.

L & A Mutual insurance building in Napanee, once the County Depot with silos for storage. silos have been painted with farm scene

Once used for storage, these silos were painted by Shane Goudreau as part of the redevelopment of the site – from County Depot to insurance company.  An excellent way to preserve some of the history of the area. 

painted silos, farm scene with old tractor, cow, rooster and female farmer called Annie working with a hoe

painted silos, farm scene with old tractor, cow, rooster and female farmer working with a hoe

painted silos, farm scene with old tractor, cow, rooster and female farmer working with a hoe

a yellow tractor on the roof of L &  A Mutual insurance in Napanee, beside old storage silos that have been painted with a farm scene

Spirit Stories under Old Mill

In Toronto, subway tracks cross above the Humber River at Old Mill station. The concrete pillars that support the subway bridge have been covered with many watery blue First Nations themed murals.

Philip Cote Anishinaabe mural of water and spirits on concrete pillar
Philip Cote Anishinaabe mural of water and spirits on concrete pillar

below: The artist, Philip Cote, described the story behind this image on the ArtworxTO website (see link); like all cultures, the Anishinaabe have an origin story.  In the beginning there was just Spirit. “And that spirit decided to send signals out into the universe and waited for a response. And when no response happened that spirit called the signals back and said, “As you come back to me, create light in the universe”. And at that moment they had light and dark in the universe. And that is the beginning of the Anishinaabe cosmology. Everything for Anishinaabe is made of light and dark. Everything we look at has a spirit, everything, the ground, the rocks, the sand, the trees, the birds, the plants, everything is… and even our sun and our Mother Earth and the moon, they all have a spirit.”     

Philip Cote Anishinaabe mural of water and spirits on concrete pillar
connecting with the thousands of galaxies of the universe

The blues of the water, the Humber River, were painted by Kwest. Water is the Underworld in Ahishinaabe cosmology and the Guardians of this Underworld are the fish. Another artist, Jarus aka (Emmanuel Jarus), painted the fish.

Philip Cote Anishinaabe mural of water and spirits on concrete pillar, large grouper fish in the water surrounding the central medallion

Most of the paintings have a well defined circle. This is the boundary between water and earth, between the spirit world and the physical world. But there are connections between the two worlds – all living things are connected and we are all connected to the Spirit World.

Philip Cote Anishinaabe mural of water and spirits on concrete pillar, a mountain of ice in the background
Philip Cote Anishinaabe mural of water and spirits on concrete pillar, a male and a female figure
Philip Cote Anishinaabe mural of water and spirits on concrete pillar, an otter swimming in the water, looking below the surface
Philip Cote Anishinaabe mural of water and spirits on concrete pillar, a turtle shaped animal with a bear head with open mouth trying to catch fish

O Positive Plus

O+ Festival is the name of an annual art, music, and wellness festival in Kingston New York that began in 2010. Most of the murals in this post were painted as part of that festival. But not all of the murals in Kingston are included – my apologies to those left out – but I will be back!

a bright and colorful mural in an alley, large cursive word Kingston with smaller pictures around the letters, two faces in the mural as well

Bright and bold Kingston, but down an alley where it’s hard to see all at once.

the lefthand end of a bright and colorful mural in an alley, large cursive word Kingston with smaller pictures around the letters, only the first 3 letters are visible in this photo, K I and N
large pink female face at the end of a mural in an alley, face ends at the sidewalk of Broadway Ave in Kingston New York, shops and other buildings in the background
street art paintings around the entrance to a business, southwestern theme, cactii

below: This mural was painted by Jess Snow and Jia Sung and is titled “Oh Wind, Take Me to my Country”. It is a portrait of Sudanese poet Safia Elhillo and was inspired by one of her poems.

mural by Jess Snow and Jia Sung in Kingston New York, portrait of a woman with long flowing black hair, a small sailboat in her hair, all on background of watery blues

below: “Late Summer Kill Swim” by Samantha French and Aaron Hauck. Apparently the word ‘kill’ is a reference to the local Hudson Valley swimming holes.

below: “LIfted” by Lindsey Wolkowicz and Dillon Paul, 2018. Women and girls girls working together to lift each other up.

mural on the end of a building showing girls and women of different coloured races helping each other

below: Thorneater Comics painted this sturgeon in 2015.

large mural of a fish, outdoors, in shades of grey

below: “Pretty Nose and Dakota Unity Riders” by LMNOPI  (aka Lopi LaRoe).  Pretty Nose was an Arapaho woman war chief who participated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.  It is said that she lived to be 101 years old.

mural, center is first nations portrait surrounded by circles of triangles looking like the rays of the sun, silhouettes of people on horseback on either side

below: “Native Americans Discover Columbus” by Lady Pink

day of the dead themed mural, girl with painted white face and decorations, a baltimore oriole beside her, she has long flowing hair

below: “Shadow Guide/Shadow Self” by Dina Kravtsov and Matthew Schulze, 2018

mural of two people on a bicycle built for two, a tandem bike

below: On one of the exterior walls of Keegan Ales is a mural painted by John Breiner in 2016. “From the Ground Up” has faded a bit over the past few years but there is a photo of it in its former glory on the artist’s website.

mural on an exterior of Keegan Ales, with window and reflections in the middle of the picture, mural painted by

below: Another mural on Keegan Ale buildings – this one was painted by Jack Dishel and Vor138 in 2014.

mural on Keegan Ale exterior, cartoon like characters and items, skull, skunk, dart board,

below: Letting the imagination run wild as boys and girls read books in “Fishbone” by Eugene Stetz Jr., 2016

mural of two children, a boy and a girl, reading, with a cloud of objects from their imaginations joining them together.  A mural on St. James Street in Kingston New York by Eugene Stetz Junior.
part of a mural, visualizing the imagination of a boy as he reads, planets, a baseball, an apple, a bone, and other items

below: “Sun/Moon” by Enz.

A two storey exterior wall, Keegan Ales, in Kingston NY with street art on it, a large mural across the top, a text piece on the lower level.

below: “Shadows of our Ancestors” by La Morena (aka Lucinda Yrene Hinojos) , with help from Cesar Castaneda, 2018.   The mural depicts the artist’s grandmother, daughter, and niece participating in a healing ceremony while the hummingbirds represent her spirit animal.

a mural on Downs Street in Kingston New York

below: “Flight Sequence”, an owl in flight, by Justin Suarez, 2017

a horizontal mural showing three stages of an owl in flight

below: A tribute mural by Jalani Lion and Donny Mapes; In memory of Adam (Jeff) McQueen, Kaireem Meeks Jr,  Dante Crump, Jonte Clark, and Jeffrey D’Aguilar, painted in 2015.

A tribute mural, showing portraits of young black men, by Jalani Lion and Donny Mapes; In memory of Adam (Jeff) McQueen, Kaireem Meeks Jr,  Dante Crump, Jonte Clark, and Jeffrey D'Aguilar, painted in 2015.

More Kingston NY murals
Photos taken July 2022

Ain’t I A Woman?

This mural can be seen in Kingston NY.

Written in circles around the woman on the left are lines of poetry by Mahogany L. Browne

“you black girl magic
you black girl flyy
you black girl brilliance
you black girl wonder
you black girl shine
you black girl bloom
And you turning into a
beautiful black woman
right before they eyes”

The screen on the phone shows the portrait of another Black Woman, Sojourner Truth. The words written around her head are from a speech that she gave at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio in 1851. Over one hundred and fifty years ago. Sojourner Truth was calling on Black women, and all women, to fight for the right to vote. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave women that right but that didn’t come into being until 1920.

In a lot of ways, Sojourner Truth’s words ring true today. Has there ever been a time when women weren’t fighting for their rights in one way or another? The text:

“that man over there said women need to be helped into carriages and carried over ditches.
nobody ever helped me over a ditch or lifted me into a carriage
AND AIN’T I A WOMAN?
look at me! look at my arm!
I have ploughed, harvested and sowed and planted and gathered into barns, and no man could head me!
AND AIN’T I A WOMAN?
I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear trash as well.
AND AIN’T I A WOMAN?
I have born thirteen children, seen most all off to slavery and when I cried in my mothers grief no one but jesus heard me!
AND AIN’T I A WOMAN?
the first woman god ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn back and get right back up again!”

The mural was painted by Jess Snow and jetsonorama as part of the O+ Festival

Photos taken in July 2022

rue de Savies

is a small street in the 20th arr., in the Belleville neighbourhood of Paris.

small stencil on a concrete wall, young girl in red dress with long hair tied back, holding a potted plant in a bucket, walking away with her back to viewer

below: Henry the bear on his scooter. One of the many bears released around the city by #bear_in_mind aka Gil Dassillien. You can see many more on his instagram page (check the link!).

black and white drawing on paper, pasted to wall, a bear on a scooter, wearing a shirt with the name Henry on it, street scene,

below: Amazing! large mural.

large mural with the word amazing written in cursive in yellow, orange and red, tribute mural to brens ody basketball player

below: A kiss in primary colours, a painting by SWeb aka Sebastien

below: Bare minimum white person rejoicing with the birds (or chasing pigeons…), jumping over rocks by the waterfall.

blog_white_man_birds

below: Top right, a street art piece by LOUYZ. A fish out of water bursting through the wall, a Paris fish at that. Above the door – three lost little ones from Pac Man.

exterior wall with graffiti on it, large purple head of a bird with yellow beak and blue hat

graffiti of multicoloured woman sitting

faded Blu

below: Looking across al. Jana Pawlla II in central Warsaw.

It was twelve years ago, 2010, that Italian artist Blu painted this large mural.

There are lots of soldiers going through the motions of war and combat but they are all being controlled by strings. Their green helmets have holes in the top to make room for the string.

The picture below clearly shows the puppet strings controlling the actions of the larger than life sized men. Strings on the tops of their heads as well as around the hands and feet.

Another piece of the puzzle fits into place – the symbol on the helmet is that of the euro. Money. What wars are fought over. Capitalism. What pits one group of people against another. Agree? or disagree?

Artur Rubenstein and a butterfly

These two murals are close to the train station in Lodz. In the foreground is a large portrait of pianist Artur Rubenstein. Just in the picture on the right hand side, is a wall with a faded butterfly mural.

The colourful portrait was painted in 2014 by Brazilian artist Kobra (aka Eduardo Kobra). Like many of the murals in the city, it was painted as part of an Urban Forms Foundation project/festival and now is part of the Urban Forms Gallery.

small green space in front of  large colourful mural by Kobra featuring a portrait of pianist Artur Rubenstein

Rubenstein was born in Lodz in January 1887. He was a child prodigy – giving his first piano performance when he was 7 years old. At 13 he played with the Berlin Philharmonic and at 19 he played Carnegie Hall in New York City. He career spanned eight decades. He died in 1982 at age 95.

close up of face of Artur Rubenstein in a mural by Kobra in Lodz Poland
a wall in Lodz Poland with some faded text as well as a large painting of a butterfly.

people in the abstract

Lodz Poland is full of murals. It’s the kind of city where Tourist Information gives out maps showing the location of more than 130 murals, most of which are in walking distance (but there are trams too if you prefer). Three of those 130 are here in this blog post.

First, an upside down wiggly line couple by Klone Yourself (aka Igor Revelis) titled “Midnight Lovers”. Painted in 2017.

mural by Klone of two people upside down on the side of building, one figure is missing a face because there is a window there, figures drawn with contour lines in black and white
street scene in Lodz Poland with parked cars, sidewalk, stores, and other buildings, a mural is partially visible

Another large mural in Lodz featuring abstracted human forms is this sort of art deco style painting.

mural on a white apartment building

The third is this mural called “Gentrification” by Tone aka Robert Proch (d. 2019). It was painted in 2013.

close up of a mural by tone in Lodz Poland

mural by Robert Proch, tone, of abstract people swirling

Photos taken May 2022

along Rruga Myslym Syri

Rruga Myslym Syri is a fairly busy street in central Tirana, lined with shops and small businesses. Either on this street or in nearby alleys and small streets there is some street art. First, two small pieces by Franko (aka Franko Dinaj), a local artist.

mural painted by franco on a wall in Tirana, of two young boys, backs to painter, one wearing a red jacket with Albanian symbol, the other wearing a blue jacket with yellow Ukranian map on it

mural of a young person with mask partially covering the face mask is made using Ukranian flag, shooting a sling shot

below: Man carrying bike, a mural by Artez with the title: “Mos Paragjyko – Do not Prejudice”

large mural of a man carrying a bike over his shoulder

below: Calligraphy and circles, an artwork by Davide DPA

a Davide mural, calligraphy as element, concentric circles, red background

back part of Davide calligraphy based mural

“Personii ge kam perballe eshte fija e humbur qe me ndihmon ta gjej veten”

below: A big green dog by MOTS

mural of a green dog, sitting

below: Unsinkable stencil with a few famous people like Einstein and Laurel & Hardy, and many not so famous people.

black stencil on white wall with heads of many famous people, Laurel and Hardy, plus word unsinkable

below: Playing basketball on the wall.

black stencil of two people on a white wall
mural of a child riding on the back of a character that is half fish and half submarine

below: A woman in blue

small blue portrait of a woman painted on the side of a metal sidewalk box

below: This woman is probably advertising a women’s hair salon but I liked the look of it just the same.

black and white drawing or painting of a woman with a lot of curlers pins in her hair

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