The wall beside Thor’s Pizzeria on Vernon Street has been constantly evolving for months as part of the Peanut Gallery’s art project Metamorphosis. Sergio and Amber Santos are two of the artists involved in the Peanut Gallery’s art project Metamorphosis.

Art collective embraces Metamorphosis

Webb said he would like to see easing of the bureaucratic obstacles set in the path of artists aspiring to create large-scale public works.

Will Johnson

 

West Kootenay Advertiser

Until quite recently, there was a hardhat-wearing purple monkey sitting atop a pile of bananas spray-painted across the back wall of the Peanut Gallery in downtown Nelson. Joined by a huddle of confused penguins, the monkey shrieked under the words “Don’t Trust the Crayon People”.

“It was a bit of a joke on censorship,” said artist Coleman Webb, who was responsible for creating the image. “The crayon people are all those wonderful creative people who want to express themselves more and the monkey’s like this nutty force that’s in control, which doesn’t make sense, but he’s in the way.”

And though the monkey is no longer there—he’s since been painted over—it’s that message that Webb is trying to get across with the collaborative project he’s currently working on, entitled Metamorphosis. Along with a group of Kootenay artists, he’s currently spearheaded a project to paint his building inside, out and all around.

“Right from the get-go, when we moved into the Peanut Gallery, I knew I wanted that back wall to be a constantly changing, evolving piece,” he said. “Then more and more people started getting involved. I’m not sure I’ve even met everyone who’s worked on it.”

Webb said he would like to see easing of the bureaucratic obstacles set in the path of artists aspiring to create large-scale public works, and he’s hoping his project will help people in Nelson abandon their negative ideas of graffiti and street art.

“At the very least we should have a legal permission wall where people can paint freely in public,” he said.

Amber and Sergio Santos couldn’t agree more. After doing successful art outreach in Brazil, they’re hoping to change attitudes here in Canada through projects such as Metamorphosis and last year’s Imaginarium exhibit at Oxygen Art Centre.

“In Brazil everything started when we got invited to participate at city hall,” said Sergio.

“We noticed the city had a hard perception of graffiti and we wanted to show them what graffiti is. It’s art and it’s paint on walls. It’s mostly paint where there is no beauty. We started cutting down that conservative perception of what is art, and it was successful.”

Sergio hopes Nelson can have a similar attitude shift.

“Graffiti here is associated with vandalism, and what we do is not vandalism. We’re not breaking anything, we’re beautifying.”

Amber said they had a unique opportunity with the Peanut Gallery, because both the front and back walls face alleys. That means there are less rules and restrictions. Ultimately she’d like to see large-scale public art throughout Nelson, but she figures the alleys are a good place to start.

“Alleyways can be associated with dark things happening, or not being safe. By bringing murals into them you bring them to life, and people can have a positive experience,” she said.

“My dream is to do a street art festival in the alleys with businesses, the city, and multiple generations of artists all together.”

Though Metamorphosis is a project that isn’t really intended to ever reach completion, there will be a Blue Night opening gala on Friday, May 22 where the public can see the end result. And since the Peanut Gallery is vacating that space soon, it might be the last chance to see this type of work for a while.

“We haven’t secured a new space yet, but we’re going with the flow. We’re saying ‘that was fun, now let’s see what comes next’,” said Webb.

Participating artists in the project include Adrian Thibault, Bryn Stevenson, Rhoneil Eurchuck, Sérgio Santos, Amber Santos, Hannah De Boer, Matty Kakes, Alex Caulford, Olivia Mansveld, Danan Lake, Dagan Cairn, Anaïs Fevrier, Brandon Brown, Ezra Slade, and Raven Truth.

Webb said artists interested in getting involved should contact him at colemanwebs@gmail.com.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Castlegar emergency service group looking for volunteers

Volunteers work with both the provincial emergency service program and the Red Cross.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Cobra Stairs in Castlegar reopen to public

A tree fell on the roof of the stairs earlier this month

West Kootenay mother searching for son missing since Sept. 1

Police are investigating the disappearance of Cory Westcott

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read