For the last fifteen years, the city of Sherbrooke, Quebec has been creating enormous murals on its downtown building walls. The first one was created in 2002 as part of the city’s bicentennial anniversary celebration. Since then, more than a dozen murals have been painted in different locations at the rate of one per year.
The project is overseen by a non-profit called MURIRS (Murales Urbaines à Revitalisation d’Immeubles et de Réconciliation Sociale). The organization’s goals are to create a large open-air art gallery promoting the architecture, history and culture of Sherbrooke and to develop a tourist attraction that lets visitors visualize the city’s heritage and culture.
The large-scale murals are planned and managed by MURIRS and executed in trompe l'oeil style by very talented local artists. Most of the murals cover entire walls of two- and three-story buildings.
The original concept was to show snapshots of life at different time periods in Sherbrooke’s history and include likenesses of actual Sherbrooke citizens from that time, but recent murals are more surreal. All of them are thoughtfully conceived and meticulously executed. (click on images for a closer look)
The 2002 Bicentennial Mural depicts an everyday scene in Sherbrooke on the second day of June, 1902 at 2:00 in the afternoon.
The 2003 mural is called “Once Upon A Time In The East”. It shows 29 well-known characters of the city's east side and is intended to salute the builders of the east while featuring a slice of Sherbrooke’s musical and cultural history.
A detail from the mural “Once Upon A Time In The East”.
2005’s “The Good Years” pays tribute to Sherbrooke's southwest neighborhood for its contributions to the textile, mechanical and metallurgy industries.
A detail from “The Good Years”
"Legends and Mena'sen", created in 2010, presents facts and legends from Sherbrooke history. In the foreground, First Nations people pull back a building wall like a theater curtain to reveal historic characters on the banks of the Saint-Francis River.
A detail from "Legends and Mena'sen".
Painted in 2012, “Destinies and Origins” shows the side of a building tilted open to reveal the forests of 1792 in the background merging progressively to the current era on the foreground.
These murals alone are worth the trip to Sherbrooke, but the city also
offers many other attractions. It's a delightful little city only 50
miles from the Vermont/Quebec border. You can learn more about the
murals at http://www.murirs.qc.ca/en/
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