How “The Runners” was created
Commissioned by CSL in the fall of 2021, the four artists – each located in a different part of Canada – worked from sketches they developed and shared over Zoom meetings to create the four characters of The Runners based on their own styles and traditions.
The idea of the mural was conceived by the artists to represent the common values of diversity, collaboration and perseverance shared by the Canada Games and CSL. At the end of January 2022, the four artists met for the first time in Montreal to work together in frigid -30C temperatures to bring the CSL Welland mural to life.
To make it possible for the artists to reach the entire surface of the accommodation block and ensure a warm working environment, CSL’s technical team led by Fred Nepveu worked with our partners at Papineau Sandblast to install scaffolding, a massive tarp and strategically placed heaters. Safety was the top priority throughout the project and all activities were conducted according to CSL’s strict COVID-19 protocols.
Over the course of one week, piece by piece and after emptying hundreds of cannisters of spray paint, the spectacular work was completed. A more robust tarp was installed to cover the mural for CSL Welland’s journey to the Welland Canal, where the mural was finally unveiled at the Navigation Season Opening Ceremony on March 24, 2022.
Bryan Beyung was born and raised in Montreal, to a Chinese-Cambodian refugee family. He is trained in graphic design and creates dynamic compositions where he deconstructs forms to re-imagine images, ideas, and memories. His work is visible in public spaces in the United States, Canada, Haiti, France and Cambodia. His style combines elements of abstract painting, raw lines and deliberate imperfections, with roots in his previous experience as a graffiti artist.
Emmanuel Jarus grew up in Saskatchewan, is now based in Toronto and travels around the globe where the visual human experience inspires his paintings and murals. His work re-imagines the way art can exist in public spaces. For the past decade, he’s been working with communities in Canada and around the world to produce large-scale portraits, figures and images on walls. He studied briefly at the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto, but attributes his knowledge of art to various influences including his grandmother, inspiration from graffiti, and resources found on the internet.
Andrea Wan was born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver. She is a visual artist and illustrator who sees her practice as a container in which she can allow what needs to come through in her stream of consciousness. Often the otherworldly images and narratives are reflective of her ideologies. Her body of work includes, but not limited to ink on paper, murals, digital media and sculptures. Themes such as nature, personal mythology and self-enquiry have continued to propel her creative exploration. She has exhibited her works in galleries throughout Europe, North America and Asia.
K.C. Hall is a member of the Heiltsuk Nation from Bella Bella, B.C., and grew up in East Vancouver. He studied with Nisga’a artist Robert Tait in the Northwest Coast Jewelry Arts Program at Native Education College in Vancouver, a process that sparked his love for Northwest Coast formline. His work revitalizes public spaces including a mural at the UBC Museum of Anthropology on Grandville Island. He combines both his particular style of graffiti, the art of his people, and formline design. He describes his paintings and murals as modernist with traditional roots, arising from the tension between ancient First Nations’ skills and the urban digital world he inhabits.