Street art in Valparariso, Chile. Bill Metcalfe photo

LETTER: We can do better than grey

From reader Chris Shepherd

Re: “Blue Painting beautifying Baker Street” (May 31)

I was torn when I read about Bill Lelievre painting over graffiti above Baker Street. I was torn because I appreciate his desire to have Nelson look good and I appreciate his donation of time and money to the cause, but I question whether his solution, a drab grey, qualifies as beautiful as suggested by the story’s headline.

Is that really how we want to define beauty for our downtown? Grey?

I think there’s a balance to be struck between the shoddy graffiti that sprouts up like weeds in any city and the boring, blank surfaces that attract that same graffiti.

That’s something else to consider. Lelievre has created a blank canvas for the next set of vandals and I doubt he has the time, resources or desire to keep painting over graffiti.

Rather than let business owners donate their time and money, I think the City of Nelson needs to be proactive and work with building owners to bring murals to the blank surfaces of our downtown.

There are successful examples of such art already. Look at the back of the old Kootenay Co-op. A mural there looks much the same as it did when it was put up nine years ago. The Red Light restaurant in Herridge Lane and the huge mural under the Nelson Bridge are other great examples of making drab surfaces beautiful.

I fear Nelson has put so much stock in our reputation as a historic community we’re not allowing any growth or experimentation. I’m also aware this is not a new fear. When I moved here 10 years ago I heard that same comment from people more experienced than I and I’ve come to agree with the sentiment.

If you’re having a hard time imaging how street art and historic buildings can co-exist, try Googling “street murals in Europe.” The results turn up a wealth of art in Europe’s cities that bring a vibrancy and vitality that I think Nelson is capable of reproducing.

For a community that also prides itself on its artistic credentials, I think we can do better than grey.

Chris Shepherd


Just Posted

Former teacher acquitted on two of four sex charges

Judge found no evidence to support sexual assault charges against Shanny McIvor

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Genelle ‘vehicle incident’ under RCMP investigation

Regional firefighters respond to car fire Sunday night

LETTER: Council shouldn’t impede recreational cannabis sales

Everyone should get to play, not just the chosen few, says letter writer

Kootenay Boundary remains in unusually dangerous avalanche period

Avalanche Canada says it expects snowpack conditions to get better soon

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

The book club master

Nelson’s Hazel Mousley takes book clubs to the next level

Glacier freezes competition in Spokane

The gymnastics club returned home with 35 medals

Remembering the man who carved Nelson’s iconic welcome signs

Art Waldie did the majority of the work on the signs in the 1970s

LVR Bombers fundraising for 3 players

Rugby teams hope to help trio of students go on tour in March

Gryphon Trio coming to Nelson

Artists here for first time since 2013

Festival of the Arts invites student applications

The deadline is January 31, with a late fee until February 10

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Most Read