The walled murals of Quebec City, which depict the history of the city and its inhabitants, were commissioned between 1999 and 2008 to celebrate 400 years of the city’s existence. Although the pieces are fairly recent, they have nonetheless become part of the city’s artistic and cultural heritage. These frescoes depict the history of the city and its inhabitants and help visitors discover or recall fragments of the past. The murals, which are an ongoing heritage project, continue to change the face of Quebec City; they captivate passers-by and add a splash of color and history to once-anonymous urban spaces. We could do this! Are these murals as costly as the bronze sculptures of famous people scattered on a walk through downtown Greenville, SC? Not too long ago I wanted to raise money for a Peter Varney Bronze and certainly a Thomas Battle Bronze and…..I still want all of our ghost signs to be saved and preserved, but can’t we have this fabulous mural concept too?
Fresco Murals – An Urban Artistic Practice
Quebec City’s murals are part of a rapidly-growing contemporary fresco mural movement. The use of murals as an urban art form can be traced back to the post-revolutionary muralist movement in 1920s Mexico, whose goal was to use murals as a way of denouncing the current social, political, technological and artistic trends in the city. The practice spread throughout North America and Europe in the 20th century, its form conforming to the urban reality of the cities in which it developed, rather than by any specific artistic trend. According to Suzel Brunel, such pieces are “created in the city for the city and they are closely tied to the physical and social environment.”The murals play a variety of roles: urban renewal, redevelopment, and regeneration of the city, support for the artistic community, social reintegration, propaganda, education, etc. In Canada, and especially in Quebec, urban murals have become increasingly popular in recent years, of which a majority have been historical frescoes. Take a look at these examples and if you are artistic at all, take time out from your craft and your adult coloring books and sketch a few murals that capture our story. This would make a great project in our schools for the budding artists of the future. Link it with the city’s history: There is plenty to depict of the railroad, the mill, tobacco, famous citizens, our sports figures, and musicians. Can’t you see it now? Scroll down and let me know what you think in the comment section.
Examples from La Fresque des Québécois, the first mural (Lead Photo Above) to be completed in 1999 is located near Place Royale, on the wall of Soumande House on Notre-Dame Street. The 420 square meters mural pays homage to the history of Quebec City by depicting a number of its key figures,a number of the city’s most notable architectural monuments such as Place Royale’s historic homes, the stairs connecting upper and lower town, the walls surrounding Old Quebec, and cultural elements such as the city’s coat of arms, and Bonhomme Carnaval. Finally, the mural celebrates the various cultural communities that were and are part of life in the capital, namely Amerindians, French and British settlers, and Irish immigrants. The following two images are part of this mural.
On the right a close-up of La Fresque de la bibliothèque Gabrielle Roy – This mural project was also completed in 2003 by Murale Création, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Gabrielle-Roy library. The mural, which covers 600 m2 of the rear wall of the library and overlooks Du Roi Street, depicts key moments in the history of literature, as well as the history of Quebec City’s public libraries in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Below: La Fresque BMO de la capitale nationale du Québec -Completed in October of 2008 by Murale Création, the 450 m² BMO mural commemorates the province’s political history and celebrates QuebecCity’s status as a provincial, regional and cultural capital. It is located on the west side of the Marie Guyart building. Depicting the facade of the National Assembly building, home to a number of key figures from Quebec’s political history. It’s all wonderful, don’t you think. Graffiti can take on a whole new meaning in Rocky Mount,NC