Lys Glassford, front, and Lauren Semple of Humanity in Art work on a piece called One Song Staircase on the steps up to Diana Krall Plaza. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Colour and culture being painted onto plaza stairs in downtown Nanaimo

City commissions Humanity in Art muralists for ‘artistic intervention’ project

Local muralists are taking inspiration from poetry and the pandemic as they create a new art piece on the steps up to Diana Krall Plaza downtown.

Lys Glassford and Lauren Semple of Humanity in Art are working on a piece called One Song Staircase on the steps between the back of the plaza and Wharf Street.

The artwork was commissioned by the City of Nanaimo after the artists were invited earlier this year to create a “small-scale artistic intervention” in the downtown, according to a City of Nanaimo press release.

The muralists invited Nanaimo poet Tina Biello, the city’s poet laureate from 2017-2020, to write a new poem and said in the release that Biello’s work One Song “perfectly expresses the interconnectedness that exists and grows in the spaces created by our community’s distance during the pandemic.”

Soundwaves from a recording of a reading of the poem are featured in the muralists’ artwork.

Julie Bevan, the city’s manager of culture and events, said in the release that Glassford and Semple approached the project with a lot of thoughtfulness and heart.

“Artistic interventions like One Song Staircase help us see and experience familiar spaces with new eyes and a fresh perspective,” said Bevan. “This responsive, collaborative project gives physical presence and acknowledgement to what we’ve collectively been experiencing in different ways over the last months.”

READ ALSO: Nanaimo councillors endorse a slate of downtown improvement projects

READ ALSO: First Urban Art Gallery mural has been added to A&B Sound building

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