Artist Luke Ramsey paints a mural with three baseball bats on the washrooms at Hollywood Park in Victoria. Arnold Lim/Black Press

Victoria artist Andrew Dick collaborates with Luke Ramsey on Hollywood Park mural

Art pieces are part of City of Victoria’s beautification and anti-vandalism project

With murals at Gonzales Hill and Vic West Park complete, City of Victoria Artist in Residence Luke Ramsey was working to finish off the third and final mural at Hollywood Park this week, in collaboration with local artist Andrew Dick.

Ramsey worked with Powell River-based artist Meghan Hildebrand on the Gonzales mural and Edmonton-based Jill Stanton on the Vic West Park piece. The murals are part of a series dedicated to enhancing neighbourhoods and deterring vandalism.

“Each design is a reflection of the neighbourhood it’s in,” said Ramsey. “The Gonzales one is a reflection of Gonzales Bay and the local flora and fauna. Vic West Park is a reflection of the dog park and the skate park, so we have wacky dogs riding skateboards.”

While each mural has a theme, it is mostly up to the artists to carry out the image.

Ramsey said, “We go into it with a loose context or an idea of what we want to do, but ultimately it’s a freestyle approach. I feel lucky that the city has a trust and confidence in my work and program to allow me that freedom to go freestyle.”

The Hollywood Park mural will reflect the predominantly recreational use of the park by incorporating baseball elements.

He said his mural series idea is a new way to use art to deter vandalism. “[The project] is just livening up the spaces. People graffiti on walls that, a lot of the time, aren’t being used for art. Then the city has an obligation because of bylaws to paint over the graffiti.”

Ramsey has a budget for public art and wanted to use part of the money to undertake collaborative projects that might inspire other local artists. The budget will go toward fees for the guest artist’s time and materials, while the City of Victoria will cover the cost of applying an anti-graffiti coating to each mural.

The projects are inspiring locals, too. “People talk to you about their neighbourhood and their pride for where they live. It reminds me how much people care about art,” Ramsey said.

A former neighbour to Hollywood Park, Dick added, “[The park] is very close to my heart because my grandparents lived one block away, and that was basically my home growing up. This project is very cool. It’s surreal, actually.”

Years ago, the two artists collaborated on a mural project in Victoria West called the Trackside Art Gallery, a series of wall art pieces which has since deteriorated. Working together means coming full circle for the pair. The last major mural Dick completed by himself in Victoria was on the outside of Ocean Concrete on Bay Street in 2003.

“I’m drawn to street art because there’s a lot of freedom of expression,” said Dick. “Certain businesses allow people to paint on their buildings, and the whole community is communicating with each other via these paintings on the walls.”

Collaborating with Ramsey on the City of Victoria’s mural project is another communicative and community-centred opportunity, Dick added. “[Murals] give a sense of community. People are working together and that’s a good feeling.”

Outside of street art, Dick paints predominantly in abstract expressionism and minimalism. “Abstract expressionism is appealing to me, because it’s interpretational. Each person can see different things,” he said, noting that the interpretative aspect of that type of artwork lends itself to communication between people, just as street art does.

All in all, the artists agree the project is about community. Outside of deterring vandals, the three murals are meant to represent neighbourhoods, inspire passersby and motivate a younger generation of artists.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

5-a-side soccer field, mascot reveal, jersey pick up in Bastion Square and waterfront lot Saturday

Island cycling series boosts youth race schedule

New series creates opportunity for more youth competition

Colwood wins award for Sustainable Infrastructure Replacement Plan

Plan wins Award of Excellence in Government Finance

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read