Who needs to tag a building in the city when you can have an entire silo as your canvas — standing out like beacon calling people to the countryside to see it?
With itchy feet, Jennifer Larocque and Mathieu Mault were travelling throughout Europe in 2012 when they discovered Scotland's Kelburn Castle adorned in graffi tti art. It struck them as a innovative and unusual concept — "urban art in a historical context... one that awakened the senses," Larocque says. "Th e vibrant colours popped against the backdrop of the rural countryside."
Returning home inspired, the couple, who work in communications and project management, started researching how to bring this concept to life in Eastern Ontario, engaging local organizations — the counties of Prescott and Russell, the region's arts council, its tourism board and the Eastern Ontario AgriFood Network — producers and community members in the process and Montreal-based Ashop, an international urban art agency, to help manage conceptualization and production.
Internationally renowned mural artists from Montreal and Toronto, each with between 15 and 20 years experience, painted monumental murals refl ecting themes of diversity, unity, youth and the environment, for the fi rst time on curved surfaces. As if being lifted by boom crane to heights of 80 feet armed with little more than a sketch and aeresol cans wasn't challenging enough.
Five murals span silos on farms in Embrun, Casselman, St. Albert and Vankleek Hill, creating unique viewing opportunities in open spaces, contrasting the art form's typical urban landscape. And while these initial silos were painted as part of Canada's 150th celebrations, Larocque and Mault hope the inpiration carries on and that new installations will continue to be added throughout the region.
Visit popsilos.ca for a map of the installations that also lists local producers and highlights in the area.