Burning Man artist graces Nelson

Victoria St. mural completed by Shrine On in four days

The flamboyant mural on the backside of Red Light Ramen on Victoria St. was painted by Burning Man artist Shrine On in four days. It has been praised by the Nelson and District Arts Council as a new highlight of downtown.

For the past few years Korinä Langevin has admired the evolving, collaborative mural on Victoria St., which so far has featured an osprey mid-flight, a purple gorilla in a hardhat urging passersby “Don’t Trust the Crayon People” and a cyborg lobster wearing bunny slippers.

“When we first moved in there was a lot of different stuff in the back. There were some bears, and some koi fish,” Langevin, who just opened her new business Red Light Ramen, told the Star.

She commissioned Burning Man artist Shrine On to complete its most recent iteration, which has been praised by the Nelson and District Arts Council.

“I just loved the mural and the street art. I would be sitting at El Taco watching people walk by and all the kids would stop and walk up to it. The tourists would want to get their photos taken with it. It was one of the few places in Nelson where there was interesting street art.”

And according to her, “there’s a need for that and a lack of it.”

Langevin’s business opens on to an alley between Baker St. and Victoria, and a quick glance at her surroundings reveals grey buildings with multiple splotches where graffiti has been covered. She decided it was a priority to take pride in her space.

One touch: she’s mounted a sheep skull from the White Crow Farm above her entrance.

“This whole project is about creating more art in our community, and art that isn’t exclusive to people who can afford to step into a high-end gallery. We wanted to make a place that’s accessible to everyone. People walking down the alley collecting cans can go ‘whoah, that’s awesome’.”

“We’re such a liberal, forward-thinking town but where’s the art to feed the youth? Why is there nowhere for people to go and be inspired, to celebrate their culture?”

Langevin admires the work of local artists such as Coleman Webb, Amber and Sergio Santos and Matty Kakes. She believes art projects such as hers, which strain the boundaries of societal norms and capture the unique ethos of the Kootenays.

“We’re not just these perfect, contained, well-manicured people. We’re unique individuals.”

And the unique individual she enlisted for this project is most famous for being the first Burning Man artist to create the temple at the annual bacchanal after the founding artist.

“I lived in San Fransisco and Oakland for a couple of years, and I went to a lot of music festivals,” said Langevin. “I was kind of tuning into the art culture in East Bay and then I met Brent Allen Spears AKA Shrine On, and I happened to be at Burning Man the year he built the temple.”

The experience stayed with her.

“It was one of the most mind-blowing, beautiful experiences. It was making something beautiful out of what’s already there, so he used painted metal and trash and these found items to create this beautiful space.”

So though Shrine On was booked to tour through New York and Europe, Langevin convinced him to fly out to Nelson to complete a mural for her business—and she could barely believe her luck.

“We’ve always been close friends and for him it’s more important to be involved in projects he can stand behind and be proud of than getting a million dollars. He believed in me and he believed in this project, because we’re doing all local farms and supporting the local economy.”

Langevin went through the Youth Means Business program to start Red Light Ramen, which she co-owns with her father Joseph—who owns El Taco across the street. The mural stands between the two businesses, and Shrine On has added some stylistic flourishes to his building as well.

“The coolest thing about this project is it’s really sparking people’s minds. I’ve had so many different conversations with artists who say ‘this is incredible.’ This isn’t graffiti, it’s not about bringing a place down. This is about bringing the whole community up.”

 

Just Posted

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

Voters pack Nelson mayoral forum

Candidates answered questions from journalist Glenn Hicks

EDITORIAL: Nelson mayor’s race uninspiring

An incumbent mayor, a former mayor and a clown walk into a forum

Nelson downtown holiday lighting by mid November, city says

But for this year, only on the 400 block of Baker Street

COLUMN: What Wayne Stetski did on his summer vacation

The Kootenay-Columbia MP talks cimate change, farmers markets and Bill C-281

VIDEO: Monday Roundup!

Elections stuff, youth homelessness, WEED!

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

HPV vaccine does not lead to riskier sex among teen girls: UBC

Girls are less likely to have sex now than they were a decade ago

Koreas agree to break ground on inter-Korean railroad

The rival Koreas are holding high-level talks Monday to discuss further engagement amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Flash floods kill at least 7 people in southwest France

Flash floods have left several people dead in southwest France, with roads swept away and streams become raging torrents as the equivalent of several months of rain fell overnight, authorities said Monday.

Trump to visit Florida, Georgia; search ongoing for missing

The death toll from Michael’s destructive march from Florida to Virginia stood at 17.

Canadians widely unaware of accomplishments of famous women, poll suggests

A new poll suggests Canadians have a lot to learn about the accomplishments of some of the country’s most famous women.

Temporary access allowed for residents of landslide-threatened B.C. community

The district says areas of access to the community of about 54 homes could be expanded, depending on advice from a geotechnical engineer.

Joint inspection planned for missing journalist at Saudi Consulate

Turkish officials have said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Washington Potst reporter Jamal Khashoggi

Most Read