Back Alley Art Gallery
Learn more about the art in downtown.The best way to explore the arts and culture in Kamloops is to simply take a stroll. We have art galleries and outdoor art installations, including an entire Back Alley Art Gallery and a variety of sculptures and statues that will greet you along your way.
**This will vary based on team availability and advance notice
Artist: Ken Wells (2016)
The title is “Organized chaos”, this idea drove the concept and the idea that without rules sports of all kinds would not be possible. This mural is all about movement. The spiral background entices the viewer to glance across the work. Where possible the artist borrowed the actual sports team colour but always kept in mind the overall flow of form and colour from left to right. Since Service Canada is in the building, the owner wanted to have a mural that depicted the Canadian spirit and what better than sports. The mural includes single person and team sports and represents many sports activities that occur in the Kamloops Area.
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 rumoured to signify our declining salmon stocks and the impact humans have on spawning grounds.
Artist: Alexx 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.
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.
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.
Artist: Alexx 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.
Artist: Alexx 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.
Artist: Alexx Moir-Porteous
The "Wheel in the Sky" mural depicts a festive evening in 1920 Ireland. Located behind Carlos O'Bryans, this mural features a carnival with a Ferris wheel in the center. This Ferris wheel inspired the name of the mural. The pub in the mural called "An Ighean Dhamsa" is Irish Gaelic for "The Dancing Maiden". A magician breathes fire as the city folks bustle throughout the street while they go about their daily activities. This festive scene represents the boisterous and jovial atmosphere of the restaurant. The scene adds life to the downtown back alley art gallery.
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.
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.
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.
Artist: Ken Wells (2013)
This is a scene from Venice. The building and business owner’s faces are worked into the mural.
Artist: Alexx 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.
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.
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.
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 viewer's eye from one side of the composition to the other.
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 creation seemed perfectly fitting.
Artist: Alexx 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Artists: Alexx Moir-Porteous, Ken Wells, Evan Christian, Marianna Abutalipova and Kelly Wright
The Kami Inn parking lot was the location for the 2017 Spring Fest. During the weekend a collaborative mural was painted on the side of Jonathan Buchner Gems & Jewellery. This mural consists of local wildflowers and bee friendly flowers painted in different styles by an array of talented artists. It was an art event – A weekend mural!
Artist: Evan Christian (2017)
This mural was designed to celebrate the rich history that Kamloops offers. The building that stood here until 1980 was the Leland Hotel, which was built in 1905, named in 1907 but met its end in flames. Conceptually the mural pays homage to the historic Leland Hotel but in a very modern, contemporary and unusual way. This is a popular genre of mural, so colourful and energetic this work of urban art was created with a combination of wall paint and spray paint. This mural is a dynamic addition to the diversity of our Alley Art Gallery.
Artist: Ken Wells (2017)
The story behind this mural is that the Old Mystic is sending his red roses out into the world with his doves, they are received by the lady at the front, she doesn’t know from where they come. The intention of this mural is the promotion of peace and love throughout the world, without knowing who you are sending it to, or who is receiving it. The artist has designed elements within the painting to camouflage parts of the building structure; the window became the bird cage. By using this technique, the artwork is not diluted by the building. The ladies’ patio in the painting blends with the actual head office patio which overlooks Victoria Street. Remember, send it out into the universe – knowing it will be received with gratitude.
Artist: Alexx Moir-Porteous (2017)
This depicts an Olmec/Inca temple site, whose ruins have become overgrown by the forest. Move through the guardians at the gate, past the megalithic stone wall and drift back to the step pyramid in the background. Imagine yourself in another time and place. Drawing inspiration from diverse cultures to add depth and breadth to the Alley Art Gallery.
Artist: Kelly Wright (2018
This mural was designed with the community in mind! During the KCBIA’s 2nd Back Alley Block Party, the community was invited to throw water balloons filled with paint at the wall. Afterwards, the artist was able to use the colours of the splattered paint as fill for the beautiful grizzly bear pictured above! This mural took four weeks to complete.
Artist: Robin Hodgson and Jack Morris (2018)
This mural echoes the contemporary architecture of the TNRD building, and honours the cutting edge vision of the architects, Peter Cardew and Nigel Baldwin in 1998. The playful combination of shape, line, and colour also speaks to the history of abstract painting — a medium often featured on the walls of the Kamloops Art Gallery. Segments of the concrete wall will remain visible, in order to balance the materials of the original building with the mural. This mural took 5 days to complete.
Artist: Zach Abney (2018)
This building resides beside the Commodore Grand Café & Lounge, The Commodore – as it is more commonly known- opened in 1927 and is both a licensed restaurant by day and a club by night. The Commodore is known for their diverse range of music, from DJ’s that specialize in hip-hop and electro to playing soft rock and jazz throughout the week.
Lead Artist: Zach Abney – Assistant Nancy Kuchta
This mural was completed in the summer of 2019. It features a number of scenes from films played at the Paramount, going back to the first film that was known to be played- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The mural is meant to show people recalling these scenes that stuck with them, which is why it fades from a person’s face to the movies depicted.
The most recently completed mural painted downtown was created by Zach Abney. It’s located on the 300 block of Seymour Street. This piece explores the gaze as a form of wordless expression. Body language expresses so much before words become a part of the equation. A brief glance conveys so much emotion – from happiness and joy, to sadness, grief, and pain. “The Winking Man” communicates a wisdom that comes from age and experience, while the facial posture of the man recounts a sense of both wisdom and glee.
The Kamloops Art Gallery has reopened its doors to the public! After being closed down they are finally able, and ready to #openwithcare to the public. Some things have changed, however, the new hours of operations are Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm....
EXPLORE ART IN DOWNTOWN KAMLOOPS
Downtown Mural Map
31 diverse art murals are a part of an eclectic collection along the back alleys in Downtown Kamloops. Explore the wonders of different artistic styles in this outdoor art gallery.
SUPPORT THE BACK ALLEY ART PROGRAM
Send a Letter of Support!
We’re currently applying for funding so we can continue to expand the number of murals in downtown Kamloops.
To submit a letter of support for this project please click the button below:
TAKE THE MURAL TOUR
Downtown Public Art Map
Take a self-guided walking tour in downtown Kamloops to see the public art displays created by local artists
1. Raven’s Nest
Bill Vazan (2003)
2. Overlander/Schubert Family
Terry Norlander & Garry Davies (2002)
Joe Fafard (2007)
4. Gaglardi Statue
Terry Norlander (2008)
5. After Rome
Peter Hide (1992)
6. Highwater Plaza (2002)
7. Community in Motion
Geert Maas (2003)
Michael Nicoll (2014)
9. Kamloops Community Forest & Mayor’s Grove/Mayor’s History Monument
Patrick Fagan (2006)
10. Wildfire Memorial
Cameron Kerr (2004)
11. Rivers Trail Labyrinth
Percy Zorillo Soto (2003)
TAKE THE HERITAGE TOUR
Downtown Heritage Walking Tour
1. Federal Building
207 W Victoria St.
2. Nicola Wagon Road
W St. Paul St. & McIntosh St.
3. Dr. M.S. Wade House
59 W St. Paul St.
4. William Philip House
31 W St. Paul St.
5. Capt. E. A. Nash House
59 W Battle St.
6. A. Galloway House
101 W Battle St.
7. F.E. Young House
133 W Battle St.
8. E.H. Grubbe House
157 W Nicola St.
9. Arthur Hatton House
96 Clarke St.
10. Joseph Stoodley House
79 W Nicola St.
11. Frederick J. Fulton House
63 W Nicola St.
12. William O. Ellis House
118 Nicola St.
13. George Ellis House
170 Nicola St.
14. A. Holmes House
223 Nicola St.
15. Sacred Heart Cathedral
255 Nicola St.
16. St. Paul’s Anglican
360 Nicola St.
17. Memorial Park
Battle St. and 2nd Ave.
18. Stuart Wood School
245 St. Paul St.
19. St. Andrew’s Church
185 Seymour St.
20. Old CourtHouse
7 W Seymour St.
21. Cigar Factory
297 1st Ave.
22. City Hall
7 W Victoria St.
23. Bank of Commerce
118 Victoria St.
24. Royal Bank
205 Victoria St.
25. Fuoco Block
219–222 Victoria St.
26. Kamloops’ First Fire Hall
345 Victoria St.
27. Ellis Block
371 Victoria St.
28. Plaza Hotel
405 Victoria St.
29. Kamloops Fire Hall #1
125 4th Ave.
30. Riverside Park
Lorne St. and 1st
to 3rd Ave.
© Downtown Kamloops 2021