If you live in Calgary, you may have noticed the Beltline has recently had a colourful facelift. That’s thanks to the annual Beltline Urban Murals Project (BUMP) Festival, a community driven initiative to transform the centre of Calgary into an expansive open-air art gallery.
This year Parkside Place, home to BOWEN’s Calgary headquarters, had the honour of being chosen for a mural application from internationally recognized artist, Alexandar Bacon. Having spent the better part of his life painting graffiti, Bacon entered the world of professional mural painting in the last ten years with great success. “I started painting graffiti when I was 16,” Bacon says. “They’ve just progressively gotten larger and larger over the years.” His art now makes appearances across the world – from the streets of Toronto all the way to a subway station in Frankfurt.
Entitled “Sunset Dream,” Bacon’s mural at the back of Parkside Place is a vibrant, yet soothing, piece. Bacon describes the wall as a visual representation of his visit to Calgary, “This mural is basically my trip here to Calgary and the mountains, and everything I’ve seen.” He describes the jumping girl as representing the vibrant nightlife of 17th Avenue and the abundance of magpies as unique to Calgary. As for the bighorn sheep, he says, “I was driving through the mountains and the bighorn sheep blocked the whole road, so I was like, ‘Oh I’m putting them in.’” Meanwhile the central piece of the mural showcases his traditional-style graffiti, “that’s how I started doing this,” he says, “that’s my roots in painting.”
The intricacy and beauty of Bacon’s work cannot be understated. If you’re in the Calgary area we encourage you to swing by and take in the mural and all its reverence. The BUMP Festival has now wrapped its fifth consecutive year, and there’s a good chance we’ll see Bacon again. But for now, Calgary has a little slice of Bacon to call our own here at Parkside Place.
Want to see more of Bacon’s work? Check out his Instagram portfolio here.