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MURAL PAINTING COMPETITION

Celebrate Alberta Wilderness with the 2014 Calgary Tower murals!

Margaret Main, the mural painting competition coordinator, says that each year the variety and quality of the artwork produced has been impressive: “The dull, grey interior of the tower is gradually being transformed into the tallest art gallery in the west.”

The competition 's theme is Alberta Native Species in its Habitat. Murals  featured an Alberta native species in its habitat. No specific style requirements are defined.

2014 Winners:

Congratulations to all the winners and all the painters. Your murals are a lasting testament to the passion and concern we all share for keeping our wild spaces and wildlife wild.  Thank you for taking a day to be part of this event and we hope to see you on the stairs on April 26, 2014 to enjoy the almost 200 murals gracing the Tallest Gallery in the West!

  • Elementary School winner — Landing 13A, left: "Nîtanisak — My Daughters" (Valley Creek School: T. Sharma)
  • Junior High School winner — Landing 16A, right: Woolly Oak (Westmount Charter School: R. Cormier and S. Kakumanu)
  • Senior High School winner — Landing 34A, right: Team CSMH (C. McEachern Hunt)
  • Senior High School honourable mention — Landing 41A, left: Frosty Fishers (L. Fisher and A. Frost)
  • Family category winner — Landing 36A, right: Rocky (S. and T. Thull)
  • Adult category winner — Landing 00A: Alberta Wild (T. Polay and M. Reed)
Click for larger version
2014 Elementary category winner — Landing 13A, left: Nîtanisak — My Daughters
Photo © K. Mihalcheon, click for larger version
Nîtanisak — My Daughters

This is an artwork of Alberta's water lilies ... Nymphaea tetragona georgi and Nymphaea leibergii. I enjoyed finding out about these native flowers. They are so calm and unmindful, just doing their thing and enjoying life. That is how I'd like to live ... float above everything.

   - Valley Creek School: T. Sharma

2013 Winners:

Congratulations to all teams painting murals on Saturday! What tremendous effort and excellent murals you added to the Calgary Tower's Tallest Gallery!

  • Adult category winner — Landing 18B, left: Alberta Bound (A. and J. Hauser)
  • Senior High School category winner — Landing 44B, left: "Hues of Green" (Western Canada High School / Team Psychic Peach Rings: E. Lee and J. Tsui)
  • Junior High School category winner — Landing 4B, left: Painters of Nature (Westmount Charter School: S. Kakumanu and R. Cormier)
  • Family category winner — Landing 42B, right: "The Ant Hill" (S. and M. Lagore)
Click for larger version
2014 Junior High School category winner — Landing 16A, right: Woolly Oak
Photo © K. Mihalcheon, click for larger version
The Ink Caps:

The murals in the Calgary Tower definitely capture the idea of Albertan wildlife, but many native species have been left out and it's these often overlooked organisms that make natural Alberta so fascinating.  We decided to paint one of these incredible species: Ink Cap mushrooms are fungi found in urban areas during the fall and spring seasons. They release most of their ink after being picked from the ground.  This fungus is only about 5 cm tall, and have a distinct bell-shape unlike most other mushrooms.

   - Westmount Charter School: R. Cormier and S. Kakumanu

2012 Winners:

The new murals brought a sense of understanding and commitment to endangered wildlife as well as the rewards of wild spaces recreation and renewal that is so important to all of us.

  • Adult category winner — Landing 7A, left: "Our Precious" (The Dunford Clan Scrabblers: Heather Haddden, Sarah Woolgar and Mary-Jo Woolgar)
  • Senior High School category winner — Landing 12A, right (Henry Wisewood Sr. High School: Jessalyn Rohs and Rebecca Frederick)
  • Junior High School category winner — Landing 26B, right: "Saving the Beaver Lands" (St. John Bosco Private School / Team Beaver Weavers: Gabriella Rodriguez-Gill and Lillian Whyburd)
  • Elementary School category winner — Landing 43A, right: "Devastation" (Alex Munro School: Sunny, Abby and Emily)
  • Family category winner — Landing 46A, right: "Desulfovbrio Desulfuricans" (Susann and Michael Lagore)
Click for larger version
2014 Senior High School category winner — Landing 34A, right: Team CSMH
Photo © K. Mihalcheon, click for larger version
Ecce Homo:

Animals. We, as humans are just forces of nature; another tidal wave, another volcanic eruption. Behold the man, in his destructive valor. Our havoc that coats the Earth is just as much a part of Earth as fire, the aboriginal peoples and bison.

   - C. McEachern Hunt

2011 Winners:

As always, the judging was a very difficult job, with the winner in the adult category being chosen by only the slimmest of margins.

  • Adult category winner — Landing 11B, left: "Swift Fox" (Angela Hauser and Karen Sager)
  • Adult category special mention — Landing 8A, left: "Breaking Walls" (Laura Popa and Juan Carlos Urria)
  • Senior High School category winner — Landing 38B, left+right: "The Bear" (Rundle College Sr. High School: Hannah Cawsey, Alifia Kapasi and Taylor Welch)
  • Junior High School category winner — Landing 0A: "The Wolf" (A.E. Cross Colts: Kirsten Robbenveen, Kianna Woo, Alexa Martin and Jordyn Lavender)
  • Elementary School category winner — Landing 47B, left: "The Wilderness Loons" (FFCA SW: Shyla and Maverick)
  • Family category winner — Landing 45A, right: "The Chipmunks" (Jamie and Victoria Strehlen)
Click for larger version
2014 Senior High School category honourable mention — Landing 41A, left: Frosty Fishers
Photo © K. Mihalcheon, click for larger version
To See Before Being Seen:

We came up with the idea of a cougar hidden in foliage for this piece with the thought that the subject matter should be an animal native to Alberta.  We felt that it would make the observer stand and look at our mural longer to find the meaning behind it, the cougar.  Cougars are a very important part of our natural ecosystem, providing the environment a key species to maintain a balance of population. With the help of many other large predators in our province, these phantoms of the Rocky Mountains give Alberta equilibrium.

   - L. Fisher and A. Frost

2010 Winners:

The scores were all very high this year, including the winning entry from the Elementary School category, which garnered a perfect score! Margaret Main writes: “The marks for the murals have never been so high. The winners in some categories had only one half-point difference. We are thrilled with the paintings and the tremendous support from the public and the artists.”

  • Adult category — Landing 6B (Sherri Sharpe)
  • Junior High School category — Landing 00B (A.E. Cross School: Jayleen Tobak, Kayla Crawford, Sammy Kyle)
  • Elementary School category — Landing 5B: The Painters of Nature (Westmount Charter School: Rosalie Cormier, Sravya Kakumanu)
  • Family category — Landing 7B: The Fab 4 (Zach Hambly-Britton, Lindsy Hambly-Britton, Allen Trites, Julie Trites)
Click for larger version
2014 Family category winner — Landing 36A, right: Rocky
Photo © K. Mihalcheon, click for larger version
Mountain Grizzly:

I chose to do this mural because we went to Banff and we saw a bear on the side of the road.  The bear was a black bear and it was a baby.  This was the first time I had seen a bear.  This was a very neat experience for us.

   - Stephanie and her father Todd Thull

2009 Winners:

Picking the winners from among this year's 14 entries was no easy task! All the teams produced very worthy murals and after much deliberation, the judges ended up picking the following winners by only a very few points:

  • Adult category — Landing 38A: Mr. Withers (Fortis: Thea McCaffery, Kevin Waterman, Matt Froese, Josie Soles)
  • High School category — Landing 2B: Pack of Owls (Central Memorial High School: Sally Lee, Nancy Caughey, Erica Davis, Carly Barton)
  • Junior High School category — Landing 46B: The Scorpions (Clarence Sansom Junior High School: Sarah Hogan, Ryley Schultz, Katianna Blackmore, Selina Kim)
  • Elementary School category — Landing 33A: Wetlands (Unitarian Church of Calgary: Mahni Bruce, Lindsay Hill-Tout, Jeremy Hildebrand, Kiran Elias-Singh, Madisen Stringer)
  • Family category — Landing 18B: The Farley Sisters (Laura Farley, Sarah Farley)
  • Honourable mention / family category — Landing 48B: The Besters (Brent Bester, Luke Bester, Katie Bester, Shameer Jina)
Click for larger version
2014 Adult category winner — Landing 00A: Alberta Wild
Photo © K. Mihalcheon, click for larger version
Alberta Wild:

Friends Trish and Myriah have been painting together as a hobby over the last few years. They both love to paint birds of all sorts, and when the opportunity came up to paint a giant one and support the AWA, they were on board. Trish volunteers at the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC), and sees a lot of Swainson's Hawks brought in for rehabilitation. With the theme of Alberta Native Species, we wanted to show a rehabilitated hawk out in the wild doing what it does best!

   - T. Polay and M. Reed

2008 Winners:

  • Adult category — Landing 3: Banff Springs Snail (Helen Jull)
  • Junior High School category — Landing 11: Black-Throated Green Warbler (R.T. Alderman Junior High School: Alexis Agourdis, Kimberly Rude, Miranda Maxwell Wilson, Emily Mangos)
  • Family category — Landing 35: Team HCTM (Thea McCaffrey, Hannah Cawsey) [overall competition winners]
  • High School category — Landing 29: Deep Like an Ocean (Caitlin Hamilton, Jessie Lincoln, Leigh Pierce, Justine Bratberg)

Each year individuals, families, and groups come to the stairwells of the Calgary Tower to use a 2 by 2.6 m (6’ tall and 8’ wide) canvas to express an appreciation for Alberta's wilderness and wildlife. The murals are a stunning testament to the value of wilderness by a wide range of Albertans. This gallery is a wonderful legacy for the City of Calgary.

Prizes

  • This year's prizes are fantastic prize baskets from the Calgary Tower!

While the stairway is not usually open to the public, the masterpieces can be viewed at this year's Climb and Run for Wilderness.

Thank you to the Calgary Tower for their generous support of the Mural Painting Competition, Higher Ground Café for refreshments and to our art and mural advisors and judges, Barry Marks, David Harrison and Natalie Marsh. Our outstanding Mural Painting Competition coordinator is Margaret Main, tireless AWA volunteer. We also thank the participants and all our volunteers for making this annual competition such a great success!

Thank you to our judges!

You may click on any of the mural images on this page to see the photo in more detail. More mural photos can also be found in the photo gallery.

Event Times
All runners and climbers start at the base of the Calgary Tower at their designated times:
* Racers 8am prompt
* Teams 8:30am–12:30pm
* Individ. 8:30am–12:30pm
* Elite 7:30am–12:30pm
 
(Registration ends 10:00am)
 
* Full Activity Schedule

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