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About us/About this website:
This website is my hobby and labour of love for the Murals of our beautiful city of Winnipeg. It represents
a three-way partnership between myself, my dear wife Louise and our very dear friend
whose technical expertise has brought our vision to a reality and who makes it all work!
More on Bob Bruce below...
I moved to Winnipeg in February 2001 to be reunited with my
childhood sweetheart, Louise. When I first came to Winnipeg, I was
astonished at the many Murals there were all over the city and
marvelled at how good they were and how they added to the character
and beauty of Winnipeg and helped to curb graffiti. How fitting for
a city that has been called "the cultural cradle of Canada" and
truly is the cultural centre of the Prairies: all this free art
offered up outdoors on stores, community centres, schools, stadiums,
for all to enjoy. The city I had previously lived in for the past 24
years, had nothing like this!
In 2002, Louise and I decided that it would be an interesting
project if we would scour the city to find them all. We felt this
was necessary, as there appeared to be no one group or individual
who would definitively know where they all were- At the time, we
felt that even a group such as Take Pride Winnipeg! (The single
sponsor that has been involved with the most Murals) would not
necessarily have knowledge of every single Mural they didn't have
direct involvement with- there are MANY different groups and hands
that have each done their own thing. Somebody, we thought, should
know where they all are- a Mural registry, so to speak. So we
started in early June armed with our car, a notebook for field
notes, street maps, and the trusty digital camera. We went out
daily, usually for at least 3 hours at a time, looking for the art.
It took us 2 1/2 months (we were QUITE thorough) until we had seen
LITERALLY every street in Winnipeg. Sometimes, we would find outdoor
art in places where you'd least expect. We talked to many people and
learned a LOT. The more we learned the more we wanted to know- the
"project" had become a fascinating hobby. We've had to research
quite a few of them too as quite a few were unsigned by the artist(s).
I currently have well over 4000 photos on my hard drive. We've gone
back to many locations, sometimes several times in an attempt to get
better, improved shots of each wall (better light; cars or objects
obstructing view of Mural, you name it).
With 400 plus Mural locations, I learned very quickly that when I
wanted information about one Mural that flipping through my field
notes to find that entry was just not going to cut it. So I began
compiling an excellent Murals database that I'm very happy with here
at home and use all the time! Not long after this, we reached the
point where we wanted to share some of this information we'd
gathered with others, so thus, this website.
Bob Bruce by this time was becoming very interested in what Louise and I were doing; and it
his expertise and guidance that my offline database got developed. The sheer power of
that early database (that allowed sophisticated queries along one or numerous parameters) just blew my socks off. I then
realized it was just
too good to keep this to ourselves. So once the idea for a website germinated in my mind, I leaned heavily on Bob's
extensive knowledge in PHP programming from that point onwards; and we set about to preserve as much of the
power of that database as possible in an online gallery that would feature and hopefully, flatter
the beautiful works of public art on our city walls. Bob took this on enthusiastically as another Winnipegger
who loves his city. Bob was rather instrumental in incorporating every single element of my general concepts that we
wanted in the website design: browsing AND searching functions, fullsized photos, allowing multiple views of many Murals (to attempt to do them justice)
photo captions; room below the large photo for any backstory or commentary; room for all of the vital statistics
for each Mural location (all of this information being drawn from a MySQL database he built for me);
and for building all of the other
sections of the site (the Other Outdoor Art, RIP, Mural of the Year, and Artist Profiles sections). Bob made it all
happen, work so well, and look so good. Much of the credit for this entire site really needs to go to him.
Please note that not all of the art featured here has been rendered
by professional artists- several have been informal community or
neighbourhood youth projects without any sponsorship whatsoever, and
we feel that these works are equally deserving to be included here,
and contribute as well to the overall beauty, worth, and character
of our Communities and City. We have also included here a few walls
of LEGAL graffiti art as we view it as a legitimate and viable art
expression. Our only problem with graffiti art is that it can then
attract the illegal art and tagging, which we view as a very serious
problem: the City spends an estimated one million dollars annually to clean up illegal graffiti tags.
Also, please note that this is NOT a static website but will
continue to grow and change. We plan to profile EVERY Winnipeg-area
artist we can, as well as having their comments and backstories on
their Mural works. As well, we realize that Murals have a finite
lifespan. When Murals disappear, we shall respectfully remove them
from our database at the end of that year and place them in the
There is a LOT of information on this website. Although we have
taken every reasonable precaution to ensure that the information
contained herein is complete and accurate, we'd really like to hear
about any errors or omissions. If you are aware of some great
outdoor art in Winnipeg that is not featured here, please let us
know! All comments are welcome!
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A few words about the Sponsors field. For any given Mural Location identified by this site in the Murals
section, it can be assumed that the building/occupant/proprietor/owner is a primary sponsor or the Mural client.
The Sponsors field will only list any OTHER contributing groups to the completion of the Mural. With only rare exception, this is always the case- the client generally does not get a free Mural that was paid for by
other sponsors. So by default, the client should be assumed and obvious as a major sponsor but is NOT listed on the site as a sponsor in the Sponsors field as such- to do so would needlessly make the sponsors
lookup table in our database to be ridiculously long.
All photos on this website, except where captioned otherwise are the
copyrighted materials of The Murals of Winnipeg.com and may not be
used by others for any commercial purpose. Personal use is fine! The PHP programming and database design for this website
is by our dear friend, Bob Bruce (to learn more about Bob, please visit his site at
Handyside Web Programming Services.)
Lastly, seeing a photo of a Mural on a page is a secondary
experience to seeing the actual work on the wall. If you're
impressed by something you've seen here, you'll likely be even more
blown away when you're standing in front of it. And should you see
or recognize a Mural artist in your travels about our Great City,
let them know that you like their work. Buy them a coffee. Or some other