Blue Wayfinder

Lacing a Legacy into a Ribbon of Road with Lorrie Flemming

Our Stories is the Gift that’s Wrapped into a Ribbon-of-Hope tying us together as One…

“And Shaping the Stories into an Everlasting Telling Art Form.”

Narrative by Lorrie Fleming

            Alas, 2021 is ending, and humanity pleas to the gatekeeper to reopen our freedom and reset life into a familiar bond of connective hearts.  The COVID virus has taught us many lessons in coping with change.  The biggest adjustment (for me) alludes to travel restrictions that yields a feeling of being held against our will.   The phrase be calm, kind, and safe has been our creed as society gains wisdom to defeat this invisible enemy; and to exercise caution, sanitize & wash hands until they are raw, wear masks that block our smile and never leave a trace of doubt within our every step.

In this time of seemingly endless darkness, Art is a beacon of light that appears in plain sight, lined in blue and waiting for you to start anew and to create a fresh economy within the comfort of our home.  Michelle instills her wisdom and teaches us to be Wayfinders, to appreciate and unite ourselves (as busy bees) into linear Creative Art Communities that co-exist by joining hearts as one welcome family into our hives.   

Through a Mother Road, we become a family and dear to me, my step-grandmother (Nana Lee) hailed from Cumberland, Maryland, a coal mining hub in the heart of the USA.  This touches a remarkable commonality with Michelle who grew up in the rural coal mining community of Sparwood set in the East Kootenay Region known as a gateway along the Crowsnest Highway #3.  Bonded together by the Mother Road, Michelle and I share a heartfelt connection in cultivating a legacy lined by strands of ribbons that unite hearts along a spiritually charged heritage highway that Michelle coined “Art Route Blue”.  

You may wonder why US Highway (Route 66) aka The Mother Road remains significant to Canadians and flows so deeply into the veins of a popular culture that crosses two nations pumping life into the hearts of our shared traditions?  The question is not where the road is located, nor where it begins or ends, the question is why it exists and how it sustains itself for nearly a century by the interconnected will of kinfolk.  This Ribbon of Road is eternally recognized as a guideway driven by the curiosity of the human soul and cultivated by a vastly interspersed modern mechanism turning a linear link into a cornerstone of a shared culture.  

Considering today’s COVID culture, let us gather on our computer screens (& keyboards) to unify & build a bridge to braid the Art Trails and synthesize our ideas together with harmonious strength; and reconnect our world into a joyful pathway to hope. 

I close with a Quote by Canadian Artist Emily Carr (who was inspired by the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast) – “There is a side of friendship that develops better and stronger by correspondence than by contact …. The absence of the flesh in writing perhaps brings souls nearer.”

Believe in the Magic of Art and the Stories will come Alive”!  

Passage of Time

A QUARTER CENTURY JOURNEY STEMS FROM THE MOTHER ROAD

Honoring the Aggregate of People, Places & Purpose

Penned by Lorrie Fleming – June 21, 2021, Acknowledging the Summer Solstice

            The Journey is an extension of our ‘family tree’ that sprouts, branches, and evolves through the people that we meet along the way.  Collectively chartering a course to reach quantitative destinations in our lifetime.  Literary mastermind John Steinbeck said it best, “A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike”.  

            The wisdom of elders, the power of decision makers, leadership, and mentorship in collaboration with the energy of youth is the synergy that defines and connects our crossroads. When someone randomly crosses our path, even just for a moment, they become a permanent part of our life’s pathway.  

            Thoughts of many hearts & hands transport me back to the founding epoch of the Canadian Route 66 Association and to the notables who inspired, counselled, and motivated the will for me to develop the skillset to generate this worldwide phenomenon.   Firstly, the initiative sparked by being touched by Angel Delgadillo, who pioneered the State of Arizona to recognize Route 66 as historic significance.

Many folks thereafter reached out to chart a map for Bob & I to follow, drawing the course of this untapped domain.  Social supporters and confidence building started by a phone call to the City of Victoria, BC Societies Agency where the Clerk asked me to explain the purpose of marrying a US highway into Canada?  The answer to the question became clear, ‘Route 99’ is the thread to connect our two nations with the Mother Road.

            A trip to Chicago in 1996 connected hearts at the recognized starting point of Michigan Ave and Jackson Blvd, touted as “The True Beginning of Route 66”.  This intersection became the impetus to meeting notables accredited with spearheading the Historic Association of Illinois.  Tom Teague the Founding President of the Illinois Route 66 Association, Editor of the 66 News and esteemed author of “Searching for 66” spontaneously met Bob & I in Springfield and shared a wealth of advice to take back home with us.

            Garnering this advice, and after achieving incorporation status of the Canadian Route 66 Association, a trip to California in 1997 led our paths to crossover with David & Mary Lou Knudson, the Founders of the National Historic Route 66 Federation, dedicated to promoting & preserving “Main Street of America”.  At an introduction meeting on Foothill Blvd (an original portion of Route 66 in California), the Knudson’s opened the gateway to an everlasting connection with Canada.  In 2001, renowned Canadian Muralist, Michelle Loughery was commissioned to set in motion the Official Route 66 Mural City designation in Cuba, Missouri, that continues to spread its colorful wings decades later.

            In Art we shall grow, the combined wisdom of the Knudson’s and the clear vision of Michelle’s artistic eye has evolved into a two-nation quest to extend the will to preserve & propagate the Mother Road as an International Art Route, and a continual conduit to showcase the storyline linking our heritage keepers by a bridge of connectivity.   Hand-to-Land Art is key to unlock the borders and to set the future in focus toward an Art Route corridor that can be experienced literally, physically, and digitally!  

            Great Gateways are paramount in welcoming travelers, extending from the Santa Monica Pier at California’s Pacific Coast, the official end of Route 66, up to the Peace Arch Monument on Route 99 that shines at the borderline between Blaine, Washington and Surrey, British Columbia.  

Important Footnote:

In California, Route 66 turns south out of Eagle Rock (a neighborhood of northeast Los Angeles, located between the cities of Glendale and Pasadena) where Route 66 joins US-99.  This intersection is the Gateway to the “Canada-California Connection.”  

A person standing next to a sign

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 Photo Courtesy of Bob Walker taken June, 2016 in Alexandria Virginia along the Historic National Road Tour organized by the Lincoln Highway Association

In search of Sunflowers

In Search of Sunflowers

Natural Storytellers 

Symbolic Art & Soul of the Road

             “My Heart wants Roots, but my Mind wants Wings…” an articulate phrase coined by popular Lyricist {E.Y. Harburg} that describes the wandering soul of many travelers, like myself, in a constant search for things that make us feel whole.  Commonly referred to as “wanderlust”, I describe the term as a trait characterized by a desire to keep learning via experiences drawn by a magnetic pull touching our inner selves, all while discovering new places!

The majestic Sunflower is nature’s compass that stand stately as mileposts & guardians to navigate the vastness of our Province leading the way to wondrous time treasures & cultural vestiges.  Sunflowers characterised by their sunny disposition are sprouting in the North Okanagan as noble Wayfinders.  “The Art of the Drive is Coming Alive” in the City of Vernon, where sunflowers are painted on buildings and seedlings are popping up throughout the townsite generating a fresh new beginning for The Art Route.  

Inspired by the insight of Vernon’s own Master Artist and Wayfinder Creator, Michelle Loughery, the Route 97 corridor, directs travelers to an extension of B.C.’s Golden Mother Road.  A Garden of Hope orchestrated by Internationally Renowned Artist, Michelle accompanied by her Agent, Stacey Phinemore spawned a vast team of brilliant Artists who mutually and collectively lifted our spirits into a “Sunflower State of Mind”!  Behold, the graciously golden sunflowers have culminated for an impressive Exhibit at the Gallery Vertigo in Vernon, ignited by seeds in motion to convey powerful artwork induced by sunshine.

Sunflowers are extensions of ourselves that speak a universal language written by gestures of motion in waves & handshakes that spell out the principles of hope.  My life is a series of discovery and sunflowers reflect the yellow centerlines to guide me in daylight and the beacons at nighttime to set the course at journey’s end.

The world speaks equality within the graciousness of Sunflowers.  They pump-a-pulse and instill power-to-people as pillars of society that come to life as altruistic & humanlike “wayfinders” bequeathed to humanity for a Horizon of Hope. 

Articulate Road Wisdom educates us that no place you have been ever leaves you!  The Sunflower Project is a Milestone, not just a Moment in Time.  Travel is a dynamic teacher, and the sunflower is a universal sundial that steers the soul of humanity into a rhythm of hope.   

Dawning a Sunflower dress welcomes a sunny smile all wrapped in a ribbon of hope to arise for all that I meet along the way … let the sunflowers do the talking!

            As a non-artist, my personal expression of ‘Art’ draws for me through the power of blending words, radiating an exchange that says who I am without speaking!   These silent words are the art form that tells my story and whispers softly to write the script…

A sunflower is my guardian angel who stretches her neck to reach the sunset with a promise to bloom into a colorful dawn to begin a fresh new day!

Yours in a Sunflower State of Mind on the Crest of a Golden Sunset,

Lorrie Fleming

A Golden Road Mother 🌻

“Trust the Road by Sunflower Power”

A road with a sunset in the background

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“Never underestimate the therapeutic power of Sunflowers”

 

ART ROUTE RADIO

Grab a tea and take a listen as Travel Writer and Queen of the Highway Lorrie Fleming and Artist Michelle Loughery chat art on Highways. Stay tuned for more in this highway series.

Sunflower Skirts with Guest Brigitte Red E036 ART ROUTE Radio

In this episode, Loughery and Gallery Vertigo Executive Director Brigitte Red, talk about the community work of social art, and the last two years of collaboration on a connected community art project.  Take a listen as the two connect on the topics of the work of non profits in alternate stream art programs, and the passion of the work and dedication to community.     Learn more at The Wayfinder Sunflower Project, follow the link to Message of the Sunflowers poem by Georgianna Moore,  Follow the link and visit Gallery Vertigo . AR:T ROUTE Radio … be connected follow  Artist Michelle Loughery Instagram   |   AR:T ROUTE Radio Instagram  |  AR:T ROUTE Radio The Creative Wayfinding Network |  Take it to the Wall Blog  | AR:T Route Radio Facebook Subscribe and follow, and donate to the podcast! Click here to Donate and support Wayfinder Projects and art stories on AR:T Route Radio  AR:T ROUTE Radio is an emerging canvas of immersive AR:T experience spots, art installations, mapped destination digital murals towns, with highlights of the hidden stories of Loughery’s and other artist’s work and the inspiring people you meet when painting on the streets.  Conversations about community art, social change, and so much more.   A 30-year mural pioneer, Master Artist Michelle Loughery has created numerous award winning mural projects, raised millions for communities through her innovative Wayfinder art program. Loughery is bringing stories of the power of community art to the digital wall. See the radio and hear the street art!  BIG ART, BIG WALLS, BIG STORIES!  Join our communities on Instagram and Facebook!   @artistmichelleloughery @artrouteradio  @artrouteblue  @thesunflowerproject.ca  AR:T ROUTE Blue music by Tanya Lipscomb. "We acknowledge that we work and gather in the northern part of the unceded Okanagan First Nation territory and that many descendants of the Suqnaquinx still live here.” © 2022 Michelle Loughery Productions. All Rights Reserved. 
  1. Sunflower Skirts with Guest Brigitte Red E036
  2. Route 66 to 99 E035
  3. Pieces of HER Art Story Dress Patricia WOM01 E034
  4. The Women of Michel Artist Michelle Loughery WOM E033
  5. Destination Mural Town with Guest Dr. Karl Schutz E032

Our Braided Trails

HIGHWAY TRAVEL WRITER LORRIE FLEMING

SPEAK IN A SILENT LANGUAGE THAT WHISPERS SOFTLY INTO THE WINDS OF TIME

…Our History Speaks Through a Land of Braided Trails…

            Let’s all join hearts-to-hands with land-to-legends in celebration of our transportation network carved by the toil of our ancestral trail blazers & pioneers setting the course toward unlimited travel. Transcending gravel & grit churned into gold mixed with the aggregate will of human spirit, our land is hereditary by a blend of people with a purpose and a common sense of place to call ‘home’. 

Our shared cultural values woven into a westward migration is galvanized by a sense of wonderment and mutual respect in search of a new frontier.  The determination and hunger of these eager voyagers held the key to survival and the courage to set their future in motion into a vast landmass.  

Testament to the perseverance of those early pioneers, our two nations (Canada & USA) pay tribute & homage in their honor.  In September 2021 the calendar was marked in permanent ink to celebrate a Century Milestone of the ‘International Peace Arch Monument’ situated on the median between Blaine Washington and Surrey, BC, standing noble to protect humankind.  

Backtracking to our grassroots, the northern supply chain of the Oregon Trail Network (of 1856-68) and it’s early origins is deeply rooted into two nations.   The BC Grasslands became known as a prime cattle route recognized as the ‘Okanagan Trail’ and lies in the Okanagan Valley on both sides of the US Border.  The Oregon Territory was greatly valuable to both the US & Britain as a powerful economic driver.  American cattlemen and traders brought cattle, freight, and culture (a refined understanding of humankind) into the B.C. Interior and became the main supply corridor into the BC Gold Rush (of 1858 and onward).  The O’Keefe Ranch became a clearinghouse for the cattle to feed the multitude of miners and pioneers that permeated into the BC Goldfields.    

History portrays that BC was built on American economic might; however, lest we forget the First Nations Peoples that cultivated these trails over many thousands of years.  The Oregon Treaty of 1846 signed between the US and Britain set a national policy for a shared right of passage and speaks to the shared pasts of Canada & USA, 

 The Oregon Treaty of 1846 was the impetus of setting the US and British North American border at the 49th Parallel.  Yes indeed, our history speaks through a silent language that echoes far beneath the borderless ground.  

Stretching the ‘Mother Lode’ of the BC Goldfields, spreading southbound to the Mother Road, our international connective hearts shape a long & winding umbilical cord into a bloodline galvanized by a shared cultural heritage.   Road trips are equivalent to human wings, may the energy of youth take flight and set our sights into the future…A paraphrase from “Travels with Charley In Search of America” by Master Literary John Steinbeck… “A journey is a person in itself, no two are alike, we do not take 

WHY ROUTE 66 in CANADA???

Narrative by Lorrie Fleming – Founder Canadian Route 66 Association 

The question is “Why Route 66 in Belgium, France, Germany and yes, Japan”? It is the ultimate international symbol of popular culture & nostalgia, recreating the happier and simpler times of the “1950 & 60’s” especially for the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation, like myself – Coming of Age… Route 66 personifies the dream of our post wartime parents, recovering from economical limitations and ready to roll to embark in the spirit of adventure in the coveted family car. 
  

My first sighting of Route 66 started in April 1994 while traveling through Arizona, after visiting Santa Fe, New Mexico, Bob & I headed west on I-40 and noticed a sign posted along the Freeway that read:  “Historic Route 66 – Next Exit“. 

Remembering the popular 1960’s TV show featuring (2) freedom seekers Buz & Todd driving a Corvette Roadster, our curiosity drove us to get off the freeway!  Shortly after exiting the Interstate, we were drawn to meet Angel Delgadillo, the famous town barber in Seligman, AZ, who founded the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona to “Save the Iconic Highway”.  Angel lifted our spirits and convinced us to come back in 1995 for the Annual Route 66 Fun Run weekend (since we had just missed this year’s event by one week).   Angel was so enthusiastic, that we couldn’t resist returning to Arizona to join the Event in April,1995 and to drive our ’82 Vette’.  Amazingly, the Fun Run exceeded our expectations, but we could not believe that we seemed to be the Only Canadians registered in this momentous event, considering all the ‘Snowbirds’ that travel to the sunshine state each year!

Albeit various international participants were spotted along the journey, including tour bus loads of people from other countries (England, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Japan).  Bob & I were so impressed with the Route 66 Fun Run, that we planned our vacation the following year for April 1996 and returned with our Vette, this time with personalized license plates “ROOT66”, from British Columbia. 

As ‘Lone Wolves, we became ‘hip to the trip’ and remained the Only Canadians to be included in the Event!   In that regard, Jerry Richards, one of the “Founding Fathers” of the Arizona Historic Route 66 Association, along with the Secretary-Treasurer, Anita Leeming, encouraged Lorrie to start an Association in Canada so the people of the Great North would become aware of the annual Fun Run and other events planned along this historic highway. 

We returned home in May 1996 and Lorrie began the task of starting the wheels in motion by contacting & meeting with various Car Clubs in the Greater Vancouver area.  The BC Corvette Club certified as our first chartering member to endorse the “Canadian Route 66 Association” for registration into the B.C. Societies Government Agency in Victoria. Gaining momentum among the Classic Automotive groups, the Totem Classic Thunderbird Club, and the Vancouver Camaro Club subsequently became interested factions in the Mother Road Movement.  This generated interest by our friend, Gerry Sheppard, owner of a 1964 Corvette Roadster, and Lloyd Gregorowich, owner of Good Time Oldies Memorabilia Store in Langley to join the board as ‘chartering members’. 

Finally, over the course of several months in ‘team building’, acquisition of the (5) chartering members as required to form a Registered Society in the Province of British Columbia came to fruition!  Later, after submitting the founding documents for the Association, I received a letter from popular Radio personality, Red Robinson, of CISL 650 Golden Oldies Station in Vancouver who expressed interest (in his words) to be a founding member. 

Subsequently, I sent all the signed forms to Victoria, and was thereby accepted on October 23, 1996, as Registered Society No. S36022, incorporated in British Columbia, Canada.  In our founding year we gained a total of 150 members, ranging from Ontario to the USA and overseas in Germany & Switzerland.  Appearing in the travel section of the Vancouver Province Newspaper, the travel editor posted a headline, Route 66 Starts Here, yes indeed, we really do have a Route 66 in CANADA!!! 
  
Postscript:

  • A lot has happened since 1996. In August 1999 President Clinton signed the original Congressional Route 66 Preservation Bill to allocate $10 million in a matching grant fund program over ten years to preserve historic buildings & sites along the original Route, administered by the US National Parks System.  Over the course of two decades, extensions of the Congressional Bill has been granted.  Canada, through the Canadian Route 66 Association, continues to increase public awareness, playing a significant role in achieving the goal to preserve & promote the famed ‘Mother Road’ for future generations to rediscover.  Route 66 is an international symbol representing freedom, adventure seeking, and honoring our shared heritage in the arts & cultural experience.   There are numerous activities planned along the Route each year in every State that the Highway passes through (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri & Illinois). The National Route 66 Federation was established to act as a liaison with the USA Federal Government on legislative issues.  Links on our Canadian Route 66 Association Website directs enthusiasts to other Preservation Societies dedicated for the same purpose:  To preserve the history and promote events on Route 66 for people to experience an inclusive & multicultural journey for all to enjoy
  • In 2002, Lorrie was introduced to Canadian Master Mural Artist (Michelle Loughery) who sparked the Route 66 Mural City designation in Cuba Missouri.  Michelle was commissioned through the National Route 66 Federation in an outreach funding & sponsorship project, to paint the first mural in Cuba at the People’s National Bank Building.  A series of (12) murals were completed in time for Viva Cuba to celebrate a centennial project; and the array of murals continue to evolve.  Since the Cuba project began, Michelle and I have maintained a special working relationship in a shared effort to extend the Arts network, starting at the Mother Road and threading the ribbon of arts & culture to cross over to the BC Heritage Highway Corridor.  In that regard Michelle’s creative & visionary initiative of “Art Route Blue” has evolved and is gaining ground with the Province of BC for a borderless route to connect the Art Cities. 

ART ROUTE BLUE FOLLOWERS


Here we are in Banff National Park – a perfect reflection of our Heritage in true blue!  Just had coffee ☕️  at The Good Earth Brew and the gratuities mug featured the words ‘United by Blue”!  How appropriate on this momentous day in honor of Route Blue’s Birthday!
Love you
Lorrie
Video to follow – stay tuned…   

RUBBER TO ROAD. . .DREAMS TO DRIVES

RIDING THE RURAL ON BC’S ART ROUTE BLUE

Sculpting the Stories into Timeless Art Touring Trails

Narrative Penned by Lorrie Fleming for Release in April 2021

            Dreams carry us away as a momentary escape from reality!  Imagining life after COVID confinement is akin to awaking from a prolonged & deep dream, much like landing on a distant shore!  The mind is racing, my heart is pacing, and my emotions are swimming from sea to sand in contemplation of “hitting the road”.  However, thoughts of an inner vision that’s shifting into gear after a ‘year-long sleep’ is somewhat haunting me, a feeling of similarity to Rip Van Winkle awakening in the strange tale’s ending of author Washington Irving’s famous Fairy Tale.     

            A Cantilever Bridge named in honor of Rip Van Winkle (memorialized in the story) spans the Hudson River in New York; and that’s just how art, literature and story telling creates a culture of economic sustainability.  Gravity pulls ‘Circular Art’ into a reciprocal perspective and manifests value into the vestiges of our cultural legacies.  A true measurement of cultural value is profoundly apparent within each distinct ‘persona’ (described as the aspect of someone’s character & traits perceived by others) as seen in literature and portrayed in the Art of lifetime expressions carved into face-lines.  

            Folklore sums up the experience, defining every line, wrinkle, and spot on one’s face with Its own special meaning.  Telltale signs reveal grief, anxiety, hardships, emotion, and life experiences between the lines.  Overlapped amid these bloodlines, builds character that rests silently along a ribbon of roads, that is deeply rooted into the soul of a person’s story.  Folklore defined as traditional beliefs, customs and stories passed through generations by word of mouth; implanted into a popular myth, culture and belief relating to a particular place, period, and of the people that disseminated within a region.  

            Folklore has no author (like a fairy-tale), it simply emerges out of cultures of everyday people into the tales that people tell, urban legends, myths that are carried forward by constant retelling.  Fairy Tales do come true-to-life in the form of Art, much like a favorite song that travels with you time-after-time along our journey.  The line between mythology and folklore is subjective.  Myth is held in sacred or spiritual reverence, whereas a folktale is popular, but not sacred.     

            Art is the glue to bond society and a counterweight of balance for the social & economic divide between rural, urban & suburban communities.  Being locked into neutral by COVID, forces us to recalibrate and set new goals for a stronger and more permanent path carved into an artform.  Art is the “currency” in the eye of the traveling public that harvests the stories protected by the History Keepers and ingrained deeply into the DNA of the Artwork; and portrayed as a Highway Delivery Billboard.   

            There exists a parallel spirit, a world, a special place inhabited by the unseen eye.  Mothers of the Road and History Keepers collectively add permanence to our society (just like a blueprint & trademark stamped by a sacred signature).  Let the Power of Art carry us to the Godparents of all murals and speak in a soft tone of a colloquial language for all humankind to understand and learn.  Entrust in the people of the wall as their images appear to the viewer (the traveller) that moves within the blue spaces along the horizon and transported by a Mystical Blue Horse held by the reins of a ‘Lifeline of Art’.    

            Fasten the seat belts and tune up the volume dial on “Art Route Radio”, Michelle has surprise guests to accompany you for the ride along your journey.  As we get ready to roll on a mystery tour, the storyline magic will unfold as Michelle holds the color wheel to highlight the people, places, and the stories of those who contributed to our life of freedom.  Filled by a fusion of tears of joy, sadness and despair, Michelle’s Art Route Radio tour expounds the trials & tribulations which paved our roads in the aggregate patchwork that built our nation strong & free.  Listen to the message between the breathes, time-after-time, they shall be our Highway of Hearts, a teaching platform to carry us home.  Let the road take you to the path unknown, unlock the experience of ‘Destination Mural Towns’ and share the campfire stories at journey’s pause.  The joy of travel comes from the unexpected, full of things that once were…

Talk with your eyes, listen with your heart, for eyes are the window to the soul!

Epilogue:

LIVE HISTORY AMID FOLKLORE ETCHED INTO THE POWER OF ART

Murals as a circular economy in the renewal!

As a pioneer in the mural movement it is more than exciting to watch the bounty of murals being created worldwide.

The concept of wall art goes back to all our ancestors. The power that this large art medium provides is immense.

The social side of the production, the tourism draw, the beautification, the economy and most of all the creation of a return to place and our connected stories.

The economy of mural art is based in many layers. The production of the contract scope of work, basically the hiring of the artists and the purchasing of supplies is layer one. Then comes the use of the art. Layer two. This of course brings in copyright and licensing, ah, yes! The scary copyright word, which is not scary at all, but actually the coin of the art economy that can become a circular economy that can support renewal and artists and our communities.

Then the inclusive layer three. Art is business, construction, signage, heath support, social programming, youth and senior engaging, diversity inclusion bridge, a learning centre, and a legacy tourism draw all rolled into a voice for time. Oh yah….. and it decorates our downtowns and alleys. Win WIn.

This is social community art work! Legacy work that can lead to a shared prosperity highway trail to help us rebuild a path to small businesses, resorts, small towns and most importantly to a creative economy that includes the creatives, and inclusive to all others.

Everyone can participate in wall in action! Heritage buffs, children, teachers, business owners, artists, street youth….politicians, elders, museums, downtown economic groups, art galleries…..well the list is endless.

As an artist that has created huge interactive diverse, and inclusive projects for over 35 years, it amuses me when murals are looked at as a new trend. It is not. Humanity has left stories and taught children through images on walls that are really time capsules in caves around the world. The new images may lack the longevity of the mountain walls, on rapidly fading infrastructure, but if taken to a circular level can become the very catalyst for new infrastructure and economy renewal strategies.

It is well known that I have been the voice pushing for a connected art trail for a very long time. Many know of my sometimes annoying soap box to push the importance of community art. It is something that so many have supported for several decades as something that is vital to community social change and tourism strategies.

Covid has made what has been a life long dream, become a common thread for many now looking to figure out safe visitation opportunities, work opportunities and rebuilding. I am excited about all the artists and partners, governments and stakeholders jumping into the mural movement. I am so proud to have been a pioneer in the field.

The one thing wisdom offers is…what is the overarching theme? and is there a connected path that builds infrastructure, and uses the art to build a shared social economy. This is the business of the arts. And that part is vital to long term benevolent foundation support and management of the cash…yes I said it cash that is going to be generated from the creative work. Imagine art as an economy…well this is now and it is happening…I hope we can not trade that property for a low artist fee. I hope we all as artists can work together to protect and build the public art resource into a circular resource and mine for a creative tomorrow. Building art mines around our communities that build the resources from our creatives on the economic financial spreadsheets of our politicians and city halls.

ART in Action is the social economy in Action. Stay tuned as we unroll some exciting new projects and learning on @artrouteblue @artroutegold @artroutradio @mlougherymurals