Over the past decade or so people's attitude toward street art has greatly evolved, and many negative associations about the medium have shifted. With the rise of artists like Banksy and OBEY Clothing founder Shepard Fairy, the public has come to see street murals as more than just “graffiti,” and can appreciate the influence aerosol pieces have within a city space.
Metropolitan governments and local business’ have begun to commission artists to brighten up the walls of their cities with murals and street art reflective of the local atmosphere. We created a list of our favorite pieces in the HRM – many of which you probably pass regularly on your daily commute. Take a second to stop and Instagram admire these works next time you walk by.
1. The Black Market
This popular Grafton Street boutique commissioned a mural in 2008 as a celebration of their twenty years in business. Composed of scenic portraits from India, the mural was painted by artist Hunter Fournier on the bricks outside their shop, and now makes for a beautiful addition to the street!
2. Freak Lunch Box
The unique Barrington Street candy shop commissioned a massive mural to be painted on the side of their store in 2015, controversially replacing another mural called Tall Ships 2000 with a modern collage by Montreal artist Jason Botkin.
You can find the abstract portraiture from this acclaimed street artist all over the world – this is just one of many pieces he’s created on the streets of Halifax!
4. Raul & Lovegates
This creative local duo brought their illustration skills to the streets in the form of this well known Halifax mural. Both Raul and Lovegates have been commissioned to create art pieces of a similar nature all over the world.
5. Alex Mbugua Thuku
Thuku’s distinct artistic style can be found in murals all over Halifax, including behind the patio of Humani-T Café on South Park Street and along Blowers Street. Check out his latest piece on Market Street behind NSCAD when you get the chance!
6. Peter Matyas
Bridgewater based artist Peter Matyas has brought the Halifax Common to life with the incredible murals he has painted in the skatepark and along the buildings throughout the park. More of his work can be found adorning the walls of business’ all over the HRM.
7. The Blackbook Collective
This Halifax based art collective was commissioned by the Bank Of Montreal to create a “We The North” mural on Blowers Street this year, in support of the Raptors post-season run. The mural was created as part of an effort on behalf of The Raptors to unify Canada behind our only NBA team.
8. Argyle Street Mural
In an effort to brighten up Argyle Street and accommodate pedestrians, The Argyle Streetscaping Pilot Project began last March, which included increasing the patio seating on Argyle and a painted crisscrossing "argyle" pattern that now covers the road.
9. Owens & Brumwell
These local Halifax artists recently completed a very cool piece near the Halifax Common – keep an eye out for it next time you’re in the area! Makes me think of summer lol.
Photo cred - Myke/KeepSix
Ottawa artists Sneak and Myke make up the creative team behind the Keepsix Graffiti & Street Art team, who recently completed this wild piece right here in Halifax!
11. Bearly's House Of Blues & Ribs
In 2007 this vibrant downtown blues joint commissioned a beautiful piece on the side of their building that has become a distinct part of their club to this day. Anyone who regularly walks down Barrington will recognize this one for sure!