Art and beauty comes in many forms, including the natural and the handmade , and there’s no reason why, when admiring one, you cannot enjoy the other. And there is no reason that our modern cave masterpieces should not be showcased as invitations for the globe to visit and meander along our highways. The bonus is that travellers can fill the art stops in with small business and community events along the way. Connecting our communities makes sense. Like a giant story book. And it makes more sense if a highway art project like ART ROUTE BLUE is launched with artists and grassroots communities. To keep the jobs, make connections and bring the creative economy to the rural communities and keep our young people talking to the elders. This is a people up road trip. The Canadian Version of ROUTE 66. This art trip is long standing in its vision. Held dear by many and led by Queen of the Road Lorrie Flemming. I am just the conductor and the painter who got to paint way before murals became the explosion of trend that are now. Or maybe these modern cave drawings have always been a huge part of the education and history making of the stories of the people and of nature as we all ride the highway of life. Our Destination Mural Town Art Route is a global grid. It has many more layers to unravel and we are excited as many are using the model to bring Destination ART Routes to their regions. There is blue on those walls though! And the blue beings to the hands of the artists, the visionaries and the first people that have shared fire stories since time began. AR:T ROUTE BLUE details great work across the globe. Some of these artworks are showcased in outdoor settings, others however, are set amidst the most beautiful scenery. Take a look and see community social economics through a new lens. With a content building economy made strong by keeping the people in that system. Our stories are our art and our towns the fires that warm the rural earth. We have made ground at AR:T Route Blue. Destination Mural Town has many tourism organizations and communities abuzz. Destination Routes have been growing in rail and nature trails. Art walks have been around forever and people love to stroll through the streets seeking local treasures. But this AR:T Route is unique as the team of Blue are also trainers, educators, creators, builders, healers, connectors, first responders, homeless, nature protectors, storytellers, painters, sculptors, carvers, singers, youth, elders and all first people from the globe. This is community building from a place of renewal to reimagining. A new form of muraltourism. A content creating system that keeps the content with the creators and the power of all horses in front of one cart. The blue is the stories of many, in a place of global connection, to a system that keeps people and nature connected. Now that is reachable tourism and community economics.
G’Day, My Sister Travelers:
As I sit here now in the wrath of a midland storm awaiting the power to kick in; I contemplate the journey that lies ahead.
Shifting our direction along this course as the wind changes direction, does not mean we’ve lost the will to move forward…
Seemingly, we fall victim of our success, as progress forces us to embrace challenges and shift gears.
Notwithstanding change, I truly believe that going back to our roots is the force that grounds us to rise above, to reach even higher sources of power.
The thought of the ‘Old Gold Rush Road’ connecting ‘The Mother Road’ hits directly home 🏡 for me. And the fear of missing an opportunity to ‘thread the needle’ on this ribbon of road may [at times] seem out of reach.
However, As I recapture my thoughts, I see myself (not lost, but found) along a discovery detour in the spotlight of spectacular scenery that becomes anew with every mile forging through this new road.
May our journey continue and carry us to new heights, keeping our legacy relevant & vibrant by building unbreakable bonds in this galvanized chain of heritage highways.
As true ”Wayfinders”, Our goal is to rise and lift others whom we meet along this pathway!
Staying on Course
Hello from Trails End…
Leaving our last campsite here in the Coldstream Valley perched high on the hillside that overlooks the radiantly beautiful Kalamalka Lake!
The views up here are stunning and this magnificent area is truly difficult to leave behind in our rear view.
Going ‘back to reality’ heading homeward, we’re stopped for a rest at Juniper Beach’ along the banks of the Thompson River, west of Kamloops Lake. How blessed we are to witness the landscape unfold in a kaleidoscope of colors. From red apples 🍎 to pumpkins 🎃 of brilliant orange, nature’s bounty speaks volumes as Autumn settles into brilliant hues.
So long for now my special comrades, we shall meet again soon ‘down destiny’s road’!
Rural ROUTES Rider
No matter what road life takes you, it truly is the people along the way that are the paint strokes in the canvas of your life. As an artist that traveled the world I have met many many faces. This picture is of a wonderful young man that worked so hard for the Merritt crew. His story was his to tell and he honoured us with parts of it. He shared his dreams and we shared wisdoms to support those dreams. But this young man taught me resilience and silent strength. He was turned away from the care that is his right to receive when he hurt himself during a young rowdy weekend. He bandaged his hand and he came to work on the murals. Not a word was said by him.
When we realized he did not get a response to his visit to the clinic, a colourful paint spattered group went marching into that clinic demanding not to quietly his right to care. You see this young man wanted to be a carpenter and his hand is is tool, his talent and his livelihood. Yes we were muralists, but more we were family.