The River

Have you taken the LRT lately? You might have noticed a splash of new colour in a stairwell that — let’s face it — used to be rather dry…

Have you taken the LRT lately? You might have noticed a splash of new colour in a stairwell that — let’s face it — used to be rather dry (puns intended):

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“The River” is a new continuous mural that cascades down six landings, from the HUB concourse to the LRT platform.

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It’s the second installment in Paint the Rails, a collaborative art project run by Edmonton Transit Service and the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights.

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Four artists are currently involved in Paint the Rails: lead artists Carla Rae Taylor and AJA Louden, and emerging artists Dana Belcourt and Matthew Cardinal.

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“Paint the Rails is about documenting our local stories,” Maigan van der Giessen of the John Humphry Centre explains.

The University of Alberta’s own Dwayne Donald helped inspire this mural by connecting the artists with stories from Edmonton’s river valley. Two of the six panels also feature community work from the U of A’s 2018 International Week.

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Each landing features a different animal native to our river valley, along with the animal’s Cree name. A river flows continuously from concourse to platform, linking together the life forms on each landing.

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AJA Louden — one of two lead artists — recalls the empty stairwell that formed the artists’ canvas. “We wanted to add some life and some stories into that space,” he explains.

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Paint the Rails will head to Clareview, Coliseum, Corona, and Kingsway over the coming months.