News / Edmonton

Local artist helps revitalize Oliver, one of Edmonton’s oldest neighbourhoods

The community of Oliver is looking just a little bit brighter after a brand new mural was unveiled earlier this month.

The 100-foot project, which wraps around a small building in Kitchener Park, was commissioned in conjunction with playground developments to add to the community's vitality.

“It’s got a kids theme to it, it’s really bright,” said Kris Friesen, the artist who painted the mural. “I wanted it to have kids’ colours but have an adult scene.”

The mural, which took a year and a half from planning to unveiling, depicts a variety of buildings and streets from Oliver’s past as well as its modern landscape.

“The idea is that someone who really knows the area and its history should be able to pick out actual buildings as they were,” said Friesen, though he acknowledges that he added a little artist’s interpretation to the scenes.

The mural has been very well received, especially by children, according to Oliver residents.

“It’s wonderful. It really captures the vibrant spirit of the community,” said Lorna Hayes, who frequently visits the park with her four-year-old. “My daughter thinks it’s so pretty.”

“It’s like something out of a storybook,” added Jesse Ross, another resident.

Friesen said that while the four-walled mural was a large endeavor, it was worth it.

“It was a huge learning experience, something I would definitely try again in the future.”

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