Alleys in downtown Regina have just got a lot more colourful.
This year, many artists have turned the corridors from drab to fab by painting doors.
“It started out as part of the city’s response to deterring unwanted graffiti and the program has grown from that,” said Janell Ranae Rempel, the research co-ordinator for the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District.
The alley door paintings are located between the 1900 blocks of Scarth and Hamilton streets. Saskatchewan artists have painted most of the doors.
Artist Pepito Escanlar, who moved from the Philippines in 1975, said this project has given local artists a bigger platform to showcase their skills.
“It’s important for artists like me because it means we have the exposure that we really need,” said Escanlar. “It’s a great program and I love to be a part of it.”
He said he’s always been inspired by Regina’s downtown architecture.
“Being an immigrant coming from the Philippines, you tend to be more observant of the differences between the country I came from and Regina,” said Escanlar. “The contrast of the old buildings and the new buildings is what I find really interesting.”
Clara Chen, who painted one of the doors in the alley, said the project depicts all walks of life in the city.
“I wanted to show the multiculturalism that has been emerging in Regina for the past few decades,” she said.
Chen’s art is also a mantra to her heritage. Her last name is featured on the door in her native language.
“To have this displayed publically is a great way to have these kinds of ideas easily accessible for anyone,” she said.
Escanlar painted the back door of the Copper Kettle Restaurant. Owner Anna Gardikiotis said the project has connected the community.
“With all the local artists, there’s a great connection to our community,” said Gardikiotis. “That’s what our business is all about, so the fit was there.”
Last Thursday night, art appreciators and party-circuit regulars descended on the AGO for the gallery’s annual Arts Bash. In addition to raising $1.1 million for the museum, the event celebrated new exhibitions of works by Brooklyn-based artist KAWS (a.k.a. Brian Donnelly, who was in attendance) and the late American pop artist Keith Haring. Here’s a look at what went down and who turned out.
The Art Gallery of Algoma (AGA) will begin its public talk series this evening as the Honourable Patricia Bovey presents Western Voices in Canadian Art: The Land, Culture, and Reconciliation at 7 p.m.
This event is free to AGA members, although space is limited so tickets should be reserved in advance. Admission for the general public is $15. Tickets may be reserved at the gallery located at 10 East St., by phone at 705-949-9067, or online.
About Patricia Bovey:
Patricia Bovey, LLD, FRSA, RCMA, is former director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. She has spent decades working in the arts and culture sector. Bovey was also an adjunct professor of Art History at the University of Winnipeg.
She writes and lectures widely on Canadian art; she was on the board of the National Gallery of Canada, and she served as the president of the board at the University of Manitoba. Patricia Bovey was a member of the Senate of Canada in 2016-2023.
Her latest book, Western Voices in Canadian Art, was published in spring of this year. The book is available for purchase at the Gallery Shop.