Artists Get Unusual Canvas

Artists of all kinds were given an unusual canvas to display their talents in downtown Kelowna Friday.

Local company Modern PURAIR® allowed graffiti artists and anyone who felt artistic, an opportunity to paint over three company vehicles.

Company spokesman, Tyler Wright, says the vehicles are in the process of being sold, and will have to be painted over by the new owners.

“We’ve re-branded our company, so we thought it would be neat to give the artist community an outlet to paint,” says Wright.

“A lot of these people, especially the graffiti artists, don’t really have anywhere to paint in the city, so we thought this would be a great outlet for them. As you can see we have kids and all sorts of people taking a stab at it.”

Graffiti art and tagging has been an on-going problem in the City of Kelowna.

Officials estimate it costs taxpayers, residents and businesses about $400,000 a year to clean up unwanted graffiti in the city.

Wright says he doesn’t think this event in any way promotes unwanted graffiti.

“No at all. We respect that the city is trying to get rid of graffiti, but it’s not going to stop someone from being an artist and wanting to be an artist, so this is a legal and safe way to do whatever you want on the side of a truck.”

The trucks were marked in grids, with each artist creating a design inside his or her grid.

One artist who took part was Mike Brodie, who is an airbrush artist by trade.

He happened upon the event and decided to take part, producing a leopard’s face.

Brodie says he has always wanted to take a stab at graffiti art.

“I’ve always wanted to get some nozzles and try it out, but I haven’t done any in spray paint. This is the first one.”

Modern PURAIR® gave $300 to the top artist on each of the three trucks.