These Are the Styles That Will Cover the Walls for The First Vancouver Mural Festival

The first ever Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF) is fast approaching and we are very excited to see the pouring of art and creative that this will bring to our city. It was about time for Vancouver to get up to speed on urban art and showcase the incredible talent that lives in the city. Not an easy task in a city like this, but the VMF team was able to pull through regulations and get the festival off the ground. August 20th is the inaugural day although some of the pieces are already in the works. We’re also participating in the Treasure & Travels Market with Hayo and a special project we’re working on. (hint).


The festival is bringing together 45 artists from different backgrounds and with a variety of styles, techniques, and creative direction. Some of them are collaborating on pieces and others have solo walls. This is a never-before-seen opportunity in Vancouver that is taking over the Mount Pleasant/ Main Street area. The international lineup is coming from all over: KASHINK from Paris, NEVERCREW from Lugano, Switzerland, LOW BROS from Berlin, and BICICLETA SEM FREIO from Goiania, Brazil.


The list of local participants is extensive so we have brought you a handful of them so you can get familiar with their art and pick your favorites to go see while they are painting or to check their murals when they are finished. Hopefully, these murals will be decorating our city for a while. For a full list of murals and their artists, see this Georgia Straight post.


Ola Volo


We love Ola. Not only because we’ve been able to team up with her before, but because her work is always impeccable, irresistibly eye-catching and very entertaining. Her murals and paintings are always filled with hidden characters and intrinsic elements that make her pieces visually stunning and also great storytellers. Her latest project was nothing less than a 170 foot mural in Seattle in collaboration with artist David Rice, aka d_j_rice, for the SODO track project. She’s now in Sudbury, Ontario creating another mural for Up Here Festival. You can read more about Ola in this article and keep track of her whereabouts on Instagram.


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Ben Tour


Ben has been drawing since he was a child. He started selling his work back in high school when he self-published comic books and then during art college he was published in the Globe and Mail newspaper a few times for editorial illustration. Tags, stickers and wheat paste posters in Toronto is how he got his name out, and word of mouth of his style opened doors when he moved to Vancouver in 2002. He also works with brands and companies in the US and galleries that also showcase his paintings. See more of Ben’s work on Instagram.


Self-definition of style: Expressive line work and colorful dirty textures. Drips, drips, drips.


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Andrea Wan


Illustrator and visual artist born in Hong Kong, raised in Vancouver, and currently based in Berlin, Andrea started her artistic career when she finished her studies in Denmark back in 2009. Her work has been featured in multiple print magazines including Juxtapoz and Frankie and she has participated in more than 30 shows throughout her career. She’s currently working on a new series of work with architectural and nature-inspired forms. Besides the VMF group show at Burrard Art Foundation, she’s also part of an all-female group show at Athen B. Gallery in Oakland in mid-August and another exhibition at La Valleé Gallery in Brussels early September. Follow her tracks on her Insta account.


Self-definition of style: Poetic, surreal, intimate.


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Tim Barnard


Tim’s mom was an artist so it was inevitable for him to get involved in the community. His dad got him into studying tattoo art with a master in Sacramento in around 1991-92. He did Multimedia CD-ROMS in the first wave of Netscape in the late 90s and went to art school after that. It was in Montreal, around 2004 when he began making a living off of his current style. His latest project in Montreal was a collaboration with the restaurant Les Enfants Terribles and Au Sommet on the penthouse observation decks of Place Ville Marie. You’ve probably also seen the Shift Delivery bike with a promo piece for the festival that he designed around Vancouver.


Self-definition of style: I don’t really define it, maybe black and white, modern DADA comic surrealism. Definitions are for the observer.




Nomi Chi


Nomi’s grandma bought a drawing from her when she was 12 years old and she’s been hustling ever since. She’s a tattoo and visual artist, currently a tattooer resident at Gastown Tattoo Parlor. This is the first time that she will work on a large scale piece and she’s looking forward to seeing how her work translates to this medium and how it’s received by the public.  A few of her pieces can be seen on Instagram.


Self-definition of style: Hairy, lumpy, goey, loose.


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Shannon Elliot


Shannon began painting and drawing at a young age and eventually attended graphic design school where she became very jaded and hated art for a while, but after a few years of having a “normal” job, she gave up and took tattooing as a way of reconnecting with the process of making art. Her work can be found on the streets of Vancouver and will be exhibiting some new works at “Dirty Knees: an exhibition exploring half-Asian identities” curated by Nomi Chi,  at untitled art space.


Self-definition of style: Very floral, very nature-inspired, but also kind of subversive. I like to take inspiration from very restrained sources such as Audubon and Pierre-Joseph Redouté and make them say something weird and disturbing. I work in all kinds of mediums: ink, acrylic, skin.




Corey Bulpitt


Corey started his artistic career as a graff/mural painter at around 17 and then moved to Haida Gwaii in 1998. Since then, Corey has been a carver of monumental totems, masks and other traditional and contemporary Haida work. In the last couple of months, Corey has been busy with multiple projects. He was part of the Biennale in Montreal, did the branding for UNDER PRESSURE festival in Montreal, was part of the Big Print Project in Vancouver, had a show at the BC Centennial Museum, did a large mural “My Reconciliation Is…” In conjunction with Christs Church and the Bill Reid Gallery, he’s working on a 30’x 200′ mural at NEC (Native Education Center) in Vancouver, he’s part of a show at AMNH and has work in a couple of other local shows and galleries. He is also working daily on a 9′ totem pole he started about a month ago. There’s no time to waste in Corey’s world. Follow his story here.


Self-definition of style: My style has different parts to it, sometimes I am working on purely traditional Haida work, sometimes it is an amalgamation of my graffiti writer and Haida roots, often using modern mediums such as spray paint to tell stories of Haida mythology or to tell stories of the present day and life in modern times or I also do work that has nothing to do with my Haida ancestry and is just fun for myself.






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Other artists in the lineup include:


Scott Sueme



Drew Young






Taka Sudo



See the full list on VMF’s website and keep your eyes open in case you see some of these artists already working on their projects!





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