For 16 days straight, from dawn to dusk, five highly determined Montreal-based artists (who make up the artist run collective A’shop) worked on a graffiti mural of a Mother Nature-esque Madonna or a modern-day version of “Our Lady of Grace.” Inspired by Czech Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha, the crew created this breathtakingly beautiful five story mural using 500 cans of spray paint in over 50 different colors.
“We been doing graffiti for a long time but this is our first large project involving the whole team,” Fluke of A’shop told The Montreal Gazette. “We’re always busy with other projects so we’ve never really had time to let [the reactions to] them sink in. But this mural was just so big and also our last of the season. It was challenge, took us out of our comfort zone. We wanted to try something more classic.”
The city gave the group complete control of the project and, luckily, the public ended up loving it. “The main thing that struck us was the public’s reaction while we were painting the mural. Some people gave us the cold shoulder at first, thinking we were painting an ad. Then when they realized we were reviving an old wall with a mural, they were came back to see us everyday. That really fueled us. Within days we had the whole community involved. People invited us for lunch and the Jamaicans at the local barber shop were giving us high-fives!”
Fluke said that he hopes this project will encourage other city boroughs to consider murals of their own. “Our city has way too much gray. So I hope this [mural] kickstarts a mural campaign.”
To really appreciate the time and effort that went into this massive mural, here are some progress shots that were taken over the 16 day period.