3 BUMP artists talk inspiration… (Adrianne Williams)

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] In “BUMP artists talk inspiration, creative process behind public works of art” (CBC), Hannah Kost covers the Beltline Urban Mural Project, which, she says, “returns to brighten up Calgary with accessible art.” This article includes a section on Canada-based artist of Kittitian heritage Adrianne Williams.

Since it began in 2017, the Beltline Urban Mural Project — or BUMP as its known — has brightened the downtown core with street art that transforms nondescript buildings and parking lots into outdoor art galleries. Four murals were painted in its first year, and the project has grown ever since, with 12 murals added in 2018 and 15 more in 2019. 

COVID-19 couldn’t slow down the project, which returned with an even bigger scope: this year’s slew of local, national and international artists were commissioned to create 21 pieces this month. Three of its artists offered a glimpse at their murals, and what has inspired them, before the festival officially wraps up for another year on Aug. 30.

Adrianne Williams

Adrianne Williams, a multidisciplinary artist who is creating her first piece on the side of Caribbean restaurant Simply Irie, said she has applied to be a part of BUMP every year since 2017. This is her first year taking part, and her enthusiasm for the ongoing project is rooted in its facilitation of public art. “I love the idea of making art accessible … not necessarily having to go to a gallery, but literally walking down your street, and being able to interact with something, is so important,” Williams said. “It’s not for an elite crowd, it’s for everyone.”

Williams collaborated with the owner of Simply Irie to inspire her mural. She has Caribbean ancestry, and wanted to pay homage to the culture. In her piece, her daughter kisses a mango as Bob Marley looks on; the wall is as blue as the the sea. “I wanted to incorporate the things that we love from our culture, and put them on the side of the building to kind of reflect the inside of the restaurant,” Williams said. “So it’s all about food and family and fruit and the ocean, so I just tried to incorporate all the things of the Caribbean — the things that I love.”

Creating her first mural has taken a lot of time and effort. It has been a learning process, Williams said. She has been using paint and a paintbrush, and learned from other artists that aerosols and spray cans make the process go faster. “It really takes a village,” she said. “It’s not me alone. It’s everybody pitching in and helping.”

Urban culture and the individual are themes Williams explores through her artwork, and through her mural, Williams said she is able to illustrate a part of her heritage in a diverse city.

It’s putting her heart on a wall, she said.

“I think Calgary is a melting pot of all different cultures, and that’s what makes it great and unique and special,” Williams said.  “So to be able to bring a piece of what I grew up with, and what I know, and what my family loves, and be able to display it in my art form, I feel like, is a blessing. And I feel really humbled by it.” [. . .]

For full article, see https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/beltline-urban-mural-project-calgary-bump-street-art-festival-1.5697844

More about Adrianne Williams:
https://www.instagram.com/adrianne_c_williams Also see related video:
Artist Talk #1 with Adrianne Williams, AlfAlfA, Nathan Meguinis, and Sbuone
Beltline Neighbourhoods Association, August 18, 2020

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