Back Alley Art Gallery

Downtown Kamloops Alley Art Gallery

2017 Call for Submissions – CLICK HERE


This public mural program was undertaken because we wanted to make our alleys part of the walkable, livable space downtown. There were 4 original murals and we have added 18 more since 2010 with another 3 in progress in 2016. Rather than a single theme for our murals, we wanted to create a truly eclectic collection. It’s an outdoor art gallery and like all good galleries, it features a mixture of different artistic styles.

The Alley Art Gallery is an integral component in the KCBIA’s Complete Streets Initiative: public spaces that are friendly, supportive, appealing, and safe. As always, community partnerships are a key component of a successful BIA and its programs.

This program creates partnerships between the local business and creative communities and provides an opportunity for local artists to showcase their talents, diversify the downtown business environment, and beautify public space.  All property owners and business partners have been very happy with the results of the project. They have all expressed love for their murals and all have stated that they would not have been able to afford the cost or time to manage such a project on their own.

This multi-partnership program is an example of what can be accomplished when we all work together for a common goal – improving Downtown Kamloops… where we have it all!

These partners include the Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Housing and Social Development and their Job Creation Partnership, the various property owners, Kamloops Arts Council, suppliers including General Paint, United Rentals and the BC Wildlife Park. Through coming together we were able to take a dream and coax it into reality.

 

219 Victoria Street – Italian City

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Artist: Ken Wells (2012)
This is an Italian architectural mural with a special point of view best viewed from the alley. The arch way creates a window to an active scene. The theme of this mural is a meeting place. The dog, a Welsh Sealyham Terrier, appears in a few murals and is a nod to the artist (Ken Wells) mother who was an artist and dog breeder in the UK.

231 Victoria Street – Tuscan Villa

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Artist: Ken Wells (2011)
This is the back of the KCBIA office. As we facilitate the mural program, it is fitting that we have a mural too.
Tyler, in the brown overalls, was actually one of the mural artists. The general idea with this mural was to improve the overall look of the building with different focal points.

241 Victoria St. – Big Boot Inn Shoe Window Display

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Artist: Janice Gurney
This mural recreates the look and feel of an old style, traditional shoe store. The visuals of a main street store front in the alley.

245 Victoria St. – Jardines Domaine – Abstract

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This used to be Tricia Sellmer’s Gallery
Tricia Sellmer emblazons collective dialogues upon canvas in pursuit of light, harmony, balance, presence, rhythm and concealed touch.
Her works hang in public and private collections internationally. Locally, her artwork is proudly displayed in the Brownstone Restaurant and at the Plaza Hotel.

249 Victoria St. – Golden Buddha/Kennell’s ShoesLady and the Shoe

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Artist: Alex Moir-Porteous (2002)
The owner commissioned this one to combat graffiti. The whimsical “House in a Shoe’ is accompanied by a Bodhi Tree on the back of the Golden Buddha.

250 Victoria St. – 4CATS Art Studio / Art We Are – Artist mid Creation

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Artist: Kyleen Cachelin (2015)
This was a wonderfully large canvas to work with. The building owner wanted something completely different from our other murals. A fun, modern, more European street art style. With art based businesses in the building, the image of an artist in her studio in the midst of a creation seemed perfectly fitting.

255 Victoria Street – Oronge Board Shop – Italian Villa Courtyard

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Artist: Ken Wells (2011)
This is a forced perspective mural, which essentially means that it looks as though it is three dimensional, but isn’t. This is a scene with many details incorporated.
Notice the flying angel bricks on top show the artist’s names.
The dog is used as a focal point for the boy and to move the viewers eye from one side of the composition to the other.

263-265 Victoria St. – Tenisci Piva – Downtown Scene

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Artist: Ken Wells (2010)
This piece incorporates all of the things that make Kamloops unique, and showcases the activities in which you can partake within our beautiful city. It is meant to represent the 200 block of Victoria Street. This is the street view you would see if the building was not here. This mural, which is a completely different style than Ken’s other murals, demonstrates the variety of styles that our alleys have. Variety is one of our goals for the Back Alley Art Gallery.

273 Victoria St. – Kipp-Mallery – Urban Art

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This mural is one of the originals and was done before the KCBIA’s mural program. 2 young men, who moved on to Toronto for a career in the arts, completed this mural around 2000. It showcases collaborative street art. If you look up, you will see a little lego Mario Bros. who appeared one night out of the dark.

319 Victoria St. – Blue Grotto – Kuan Yin

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Artist: Alex Moir-Porteous (2011)
This wall was very heavily tagged by graffiti so the owners were happy to have a mural created here. The art represents the owner’s interest in Buddhist culture.

  • History tells us that Kuan Yin (Kwan Yin) is the Chinese version of the male god, whom the ancient texts eulogize as the deity of compassion.
  • The Buddhist Deity Green Tara is also known as a heavenly deity who hears the cries of beings experiencing misery.
  • The Diamond/Triangular Mandalas in Buddhist cultures, a mandala embraces what they consider to be the four facets of life; unconscious, conscious, emotional and spiritual.

329 Victoria St. – Eyes International/House of Carmond – Music in Venice

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Artist: Ken Wells (2013)
This is a scene from Venice. The building and business owner’s faces are worked into the mural.

347 Victoria St. – Castles & Cottages – Underwater Scene

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Artist: Kelly Wright (2012)
The owner wanted a seaside inspired fantasy visual. It was originally supposed to be just on the lower half of the wall but the artist became so inspired that he kept going. The concept for this mural is to make the viewer feel surrounded by the multiple dimensions of the walls. It took about 6 weeks to complete.

Note: the sun is coming through the water surrounding the mermaid.

350 Seymour St. – Marilyn

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Artist: Evan Christian (2013)
Marilyn Monroe: The owner had a poster of Marilyn that he showed to the artist. This entire piece is done with spray paint. This was our first mural of this genre and it shows the amazing detail that is possible with a good spray paint artist. He has completed many commissioned murals within the City of Kamloops and elsewhere.

353 Victoria St. – Viva Bridal – Italian Countryside

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Artist: Ken Wells (2012)
Kamloops has a large Italian community, Anthony Salituro (the owner of the shop) being one of them. He gave the artist a number of photos of Italy from which Ken created this work of art. Note the 3 dimensional effects.

357 Victoria Street- Carlos O’Bryans- Wheel in the Sky

Artist: Alex Moir-Porteus (2016)

120-5th Ave. – Cactus Jack’s – Billy Miner Train Robbery

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Artist: Alexander Moir-Porteous (2010)
This mural was completed in the summer of 2010 by Alexander Moir-Porteous. Fredrick Fulton, a local community leader, prosecuted the infamous train robber, Billy Miner, in Kamloops in 1905. Billy Miner is known for coining the phrase “Hands Up”. After a successful robbery in Mission, BC in which Billy netted almost $100, 000, he came to Kamloops and became a respectable rancher. The thrill of train robbery was, however, far too tempting, and Miner struck again in Kamloops. Unfortunately, he only managed to steal $17, and the attempt led to his capture by the Mounted Police. Frederick Fulton put him in jail on a twenty-five-year sentence. He soon escaped and was never re-captured. The mural depicts the last of the old West train robberies by cowboys on horseback. This mural is dedicated to that piece of Kamloops history. The artist took great pains to ensure that this mural was historically correct.

422 Victoria St – Karateristics – Fantasy Garden

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Artist: Alexander Moir-Porteous (2010)
This was the first mural in the program and was completed in the summer of 2010. The mural showcases a path between the oak trees which is a portal to a fantasy garden.

126 4th Ave. – Central Station Pub – Alley Oasis

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Artist: Kelly Wright (2013)
The owners wanted to create this mural to go with the oasis pub in the alley. The art wraps around the corner of the building and continues on the walls under the pub’s patio. This mural was done with a mix of exterior latex brush work and high production air-gun painting.

355 Lansdowne St. – Red Collar Brewing – History of Brewing

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Artist: Kelly Wright (2016)
One of the three murals being completed in the 2016 season, the Red Collar History of Brewing is an ambitious look at the history of brewing throughout time and into the present. On the side of the building you will meet the goddesses of hops & barley, while on the back of the building you will meet Louis Pasteur, the man who made pasteurization and the consumption of safe beer possible. You will also see a giant barrel with the namesake of the building whose spirit lives within the beer inside.

238 Lansdowne St. – All Aboard Games – Dragon Battle

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Artist: Alex Moir Porteous (2015)
This mural, painted on the back of All Aboard Games, is based on an iconic dragon from the Dungeons and Dragons universe. This creature breathes lightning and is depicted amidst the flaming wreckage of a battle with an enemy not in the frame.

167 4th Ave. – Hampton Gallery – Moving Art

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Artist: Ken Wells (2015)
Ken worked with the art gallery owner to create a design that suited the wall. Fun details you’ll notice are the feet of people carrying the painting and fish that have fallen out of the painting. This creates a feeling of action within the mural. This is also rumored to signify our declining salmon stocks and the impact humans have on spawning grounds.

520 Seymour Street- Service Canada- Sport in the ‘loops

Artist: Ken Wells (2016)