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Community Art in Mount Pleasant Welcomes a New Mural

A new mural is coming to our neighbourhood, in the alley between 15th and 16th Avenue just behind Heritage Hall. Currently in the works, the mural is being painted by local artist Ilya Viryachev.

Viryachev, on the mural:

The original idea for this mural came to me after watching a documentary on human accomplishments, and food industry specifically. In one of the segments it talked about how rain forests had to be cut down in Brazil in order to make room for cattle farming. Although the imagery from the doc was beautiful, the message was there – can we find a way to keep the food industry going without destroying the Earth while doing so. Being the optimist that I am, it is why I came up with such an image – an adventurer child being among the animals while carrying a camera as a symbol of learning from the past, and a pair of binoculars as a symbol for planning for the future. In the end, I wanted to have an image that made passers-by smile rather than affect them negatively, so I made sure to exaggerate the shapes and work with an uplifting palette. Adventure Time reference was the final touch – I find its lighthearted humor to be the perfect aspect to bring people together.

Big thanks to Nathan Pope from the City of Vancouver and Lynn Warwick from Mount Pleasant BIA for making this happen.

About the Artist

Ilya Viryachev is an artist born in Almaty, Kazakhstan, who immigrated at a young age to Vancouver, Canada where he is currently living. After having graduated from the Art Institute of Vancouver, Ilya worked as an animator on multiple TV shows and later transitioned into Concept Art field. While creating designs for cartoons during the day, he spends most of his free time on traditional painting, art installations, murals, and being involved in the local art community.

Click here to see additional photos of the mural and feel free to watch the time-lapse video of the artistic process below.