Musqueam artist Debra Sparrow mural kicks off at Art Smash event on Granville Island May 12

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      Musqueam weaver and graphic designer Debra Sparrow will be painting a mural on two towering cement pillars of the Granville Street Bridge near the Granville Island Public Market next Saturday (May 12).

      It’s all part of a series called Blanketing the City, in which the Vancouver Mural Festival is helping to celebrate the resurgence of Coast Salish weaving by having contemporary artists like Sparrow turn Indigenous textile patterns into giant murals in public spaces.

      Sparrow’s work will also be the centrepiece of a new, free public event on Granville Island called Art Smash, which runs the same day from 1 to 9 p.m. and features eight new murals and an all-ages street party.

      Other participating artists include Spain’s Ruben Sanchez, Sandeep Johal, and JNasty. Blanketing the City continues this summer with installations in Strathcona and Mount Pleasant. Together with Sparrow, they'll be turning Granville Island's newest public space, the Chain and Forge, into a vibrant outdoor art gallery.

      During Art Smash, Public Disco curates music by local DJs like Nick Wisdom, INNEZZ, Nancy Dru, and Marc Gerrard. The street party also features local craft breweries, food trucks, performances by the Vancouver Street Dance Festival community, and more. 

      The VMF’s annual summer festival takes place from August 6 to 11 this year.