Get exploring the street art scene with local guide Kristin Archer.
Spring is here which means it’s time to get outside and explore! Hamilton’s art scene is bursting with talent and many local artists have taken their work to the streets. Here’s a guide to just some of the city’s iconic, colourful street murals.
1. ‘Greetings from Hamilton’ Mural at Durand Coffee
It’s easy to spot sunny coffee shop Durand Coffee on the corner of Charlton and Caroline Streets thanks to the pleasant sky blue and lavender “Greetings From Hamilton” mural by Tyler Van Holst. Tyler says his art has “the intention of being a destination piece, a place to record and share your Hamilton.” His goal wasn’t to capture the essence of the city, “but rather to shed light on the many facets to reveal a diverse reflection.”
2. EduDeo Ministries Mural
Over on Barton Street you’ll find an inspiring and whimsical mural depicting the uplifting
power of “education that goes beyond the classroom” according to artist Tim Nijenhuis (Ninehouse Productions). Find it on the EduDeo Ministries building at the intersection with Gibson Street.
3. Corktown Mural
We can’t talk about murals in Hamilton without highlighting the whimsical work of Lester Coloma. The prolific artist has created several memorable murals around Hamilton, notably “Corktown Mural” which spans two walls of a stucco building outside a dental office at Walnut and Jackson Streets. The vibrant images evoke Corktown’s rich history.
3. Collective Arts Mural
Collective Arts Brewing showcases the talents of emerging artists by putting works of art on its cans and labels. The north end brewery became even more colourful in the summer of 2017 with The Wall Project – an installation of graffiti art surrounding the outdoor beer garden. Artists Jordan Warmington (of John Street Tattoo in Hamilton), Peru Dyer Jalea, Chris Dyer, Bruno Smoky, and Shalak Attack came together in conjunction with the brewery’s Series 8 Label Launch to create a massive collaboration that transformed the space entirely.
Coming up next: notable street art group “The Weird” are coming in for Collective’s Liquid Art Festival (June 15-16) and will be muraling a large part of their building on Burlington Street.
5. Dr. Disc Mural
A fun aspect of the annual arts and culture festival Supercrawl is that a masterpiece is often left behind for us to enjoy year-round. That’s the case outside of Dr. Disc. During Supercrawl 2016, British artist Pete Fowler pulled triple duty, performing, exhibiting some of his art, and also finding the time to create a brilliant mural on the wall of the iconic record store.
6. ‘Abnormally Aboriginal’ at Supercrawl Mural
After the whirlwind of Supercrawl weekend, it’s nice to have a tangible piece of art that was created specifically for the annual festival. In recent years this has included an installation on James Street North outside of CBC Hamilton (just north of Wilson Street). Currently, that piece is “Abnormally Aboriginal” by contemporary artist Shelley Niro, whose striking work challenges stereotypes of Indigenous women.
7. ‘Domestic Brew – Craft Beer Garden Mural’ at Hamilton Artists Inc.
Another staple street art piece of James Street North is located outside of Hamilton Artists Inc. The south-facing mural on Cannon Street (at James Street North) typically changes annually. Currently you’ll find the eye-catching “Domestic Brew: Craft Beer Garden” by Shake-n-Make (Liss Platt and Claudia B. Manley), a queer art collective. The impressive billboard filled with beer-cap flowers was unveiled in May 2017. The work aims to provide audiences with an opportunity to reconsider the social function of beer and approach beer as an art medium.
8. Welcome to Hamilton Mural at MacNab Street Pedestrian Tunnel
A friendly Hamilton-centric mural can be found inside the MacNab Street tunnel. Welcoming everyone to Hamilton, the concept was designed and painted by artist Becky Katz and was part of a group collaboration with a youth arts organization.
9. Street Art Hamilton
Another familiar icon to the local mural scene is Street Art Hamilton, whose mandate is to “beautify the city of Hamilton one mural at a time.” In addition to appearing in many restaurant hot spots, the work of Richard Mace can also be found in the colourful MacNab Street tunnel, featuring fanciful giraffes and R2-D2. Richard has plans for more outdoor murals this summer.
10. Carter Park Mural
At Carter Park on Stinson Street you’ll find an impressive 70-ft mural by local artist Bryce Huffman. Installed in 2016, the work compliments the recreational space while also acknowledging the natural and historical character of the area.
11. Antique Detective Mural
It’s difficult to miss the gorgeous array of colours on Ottawa Street North outside of Antique Detective in the heart of Hamilton’s antique and design district. The imaginative, rainbow-coloured mural featuring a gigantic fairy flying over top of smokestacks was conceived through a collaborative effort by artists Will Gaydos, Rudjer Bosiljevic, and Spencer Watson.
12. ‘Gateway’ at James Street South Mural
Coming soon to James Street South, across from the Hamilton GO Centre, is Gateway by Vivian Rosas and Vesna Asanovic. This piece was recently selected as the winning entry in the City of Hamilton’s James Street South Mural Public Art Competition. This colourful work showcases vignettes of daily activities, both urban and nature, across a culturally diverse city. Look for it in fall of 2018.
What are your favourite murals in the city? Share your photos with us on Instagram and Twitter by tagging #MyHamilton!
Kristin Archer is a lifelong Hamiltonian and the blogger behind the popular blog I Heart Hamilton where she inspires every local to “be a tourist in your own city.” She’s passionate about discovering her hometown, new experiences and sharing all that Hamilton has to offer. Catch Kristin Fridays at 2 p.m. when she hosts “I Heart Hamilton” on 93.3 CFMU and follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Kristin’s #MyHamilton blog offers an insider’s look at Hamilton’s buzz-worthy arts and culture scene including James Street North staple Art Crawl, great music festivals and venues, outdoor events, theatre, dance and specialty shopping.