Transforming spaces and walls to share culture, history and creativity
Throughout the Algoma region, there are public and private galleries with art pieces created by local or world-renowned artists. With the help of this blog, we can direct you to outdoor galleries and public art displays that equally bring bright colours and creativity to empty walls or transform spaces! These unique and beautiful pieces share the local stories of culture and history of people and places in Algoma.
*Featured Image: Girls in a Strawberry Field by milkboxtheartist, 78 Elgin Street, Sault Ste. Marie
Gitchee Goomee Totems – Wawa
Visitor Information Centre, 26 Mission Road, Wawa
We’d like to welcome you, to the world of artist Shane “Spike” Mills and his “Faces of Gitchee Goomee”. Spike’s unique totems are found in and around the community of Wawa. Most notably on the community waterfront and at the visitor information centre. This artist works primarily in sustainable wood varieties and other natural materials salvaged from the area. After viewing his outdoor works, stop in at the Spike Mills ART Gallery to see the creativity in progress!
You may also like: The Heritage Doors which tells stories of prominent citizens from the area and their contributions to the local culture and history
Watch a documentary about Spike Mills
Celebrating 100 Years Murals – Chapleau
The mural project was completed in 2001 to commemorate the town of Chapleau’s 100th birthday. It consequently saw the creation of ten murals and two exterior sculptures. The murals feature the industrial history while highlighting the surrounding beauty and wildlife of this area. Different artists and sculptors created these artistic pieces. Make a plan to view the murals on your next visit to Chapleau by clicking here for the map.
You may also like: The Union culturelle des franco-ontariennes (UCFO) is home to Chapleau’s Francophone weavers. These weavers have a boutique to display and sell their handmade textile products.
#Couleurs du Nord – Hearst
This stunning mural was created for the first episode of #Couleurs du Nord filmed in Hearst. The children’s TV show focuses on local culture and artwork, featuring diverse Indigenous and Francophone stories. It’s hosted by Mique Michelle, a Franco-Ontarian graffiti artist. Each episode is filmed in a different community with local children who share local lore and laughter. Those tales then become the murals painted by the artist and the kids.
You can watch the episode by clicking here
Public Art and Murals – Sault Ste. Marie
Battle For the Seven Clans – Thomas Sinclair, 816 Bay Street, Sault Ste. Marie
The arts and culture community in Sault Ste. Marie’s is growing and has resulted in many public art displays downtown. On your next visit to the city, take a walking tour to see these culturally significant murals from Indigenous and world-renowned artists. The Paul Mall Alley Display Project (642 Queen Street) displays local and regional artists’ works with 6 new visual artists each year. Look up the dates for the next The Summer Moon Festival. It’s a vibrant community arts festival featuring large-scale public art creations with music and community programs from talented artists. Read about Thomas Sinclair’s creative journey and his work in the city’s mural project
10 East Street, Sault Ste. Marie
On September 30, 2023, the Art Gallery of Algoma and the Indigenous Friendship Centre unveiled the Woodland Mural Art Project. This community-focused Indigenous youth art initiative was led by Indigenous artist and Indigenous Programming Coordinator, Lucia Laford. The mural is located on the exterior walls of the gallery painted in the traditions of the Woodland Art style.
Public Art Displays – Thessalon
There are two public art displays in the town which were created by local artist Brittany Joyce Art. The first mural is located at Peace Park. This vibrant mural is located on the exterior wall of the changerooms of the pretty park and has playground equipment, a sandy beach and a great place to launch a kayak or canoe to paddle the Thessalon River.
The second mural was also created by Brittany and is located at Lakeside Beach. It has a large, lovely sand beach with a newly constructed changeroom, washrooms and accessibility mat for beachgoers.
Public Art Displays – Blind River
12 Murray Street, Blind River
These public art displays in Blind River were commissioned by the Cameco Refinery. Another artwork can be found on the exterior side wall of the Royal Bank branch. Visitors can see the final art piece on the wall of a local convenience store commemorating the area’s logging history.
You might also like: the picturesque waterfront between the two bridges near the town hall to view the fountain.
Historical Murals – White River
The history of White River begins as a work camp in the 1880s along the Canadian Pacific Railway and grew into the town seen today. Four murals were created to feature this history. You can find three murals located outside of the White River Heritage Museum. The other mural is located at the White River Train Station.
You might also like: The Winnie-the-Pooh Park to view the statue. White River is the hometown of Winnie, the black bear who inspired the world’s most beloved bear created by writer A.A. Milne.
Community Art and Murals – Elliot Lake
Spruce Beach, Elliot Lake
This city is well known for its active arts and culture community. The public art displays consist of fun and interactive photo-op cutout panels and four murals depicting geological and other historical aspects of the area. Visit the Love Elliot Lake sign at Spruce Beach which makes for a great selfie spot.
You might also like: The Elliot Lake Arts Club hosts the annual Arts on the Trail event, featuring over 30 artists and artisans from the area.
Paul Mall Alley, Sault Ste. Marie
Plan a tour of Algoma Country by car, RV, or motorcycle by clicking here to learn more about the touring routes in the region. Be sure to add stops to see these public art displays and others when putting together your itinerary!
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