Photo gallery: Murals on boarded-up businesses spread through Gastown and beyond

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      Artists descended on Gastown this weekend to create murals on the boarding that has closed up businesses around the neighbourhood.

      Nine shops in all--including Dutil Denim, L'Atelier, Parliament Interiors, and Bruce Eyewear--now have imagery around the themes of frontline workers as well as hope, positivity, kindness, and gratitude. The Gastown BIA has been working with local businesses to supply artists with paint, materials, honorariums, and food vouchers for local businesses, as well as hand sanitizer and other sanitation equipment, plus tape and other items to create a safe perimeter around them while they work.

      It all started at Kimprints framing and gift shop earlier in the week, when owner Kim Briscoe invited painters to create portraits of health officers Theresa Tam and Bonnie Henry on the plywood covering the windows of her space in the historic Hotel Europe. She put out a call to more artists who have added work to the spot's many boarded windows--18 panels in all on the iconic flat-iron-style building on the triangular lot at Powell and Alexander streets.

      Christina Boots and Olivia Knight's mural at L'Atelier  depicts a bird flying with scrolling toilet paper.

      "Two artists spraypainted a bird carrying toilet paper today in the neighbourhood," Briscoe told the Straight over the phone of a work by Christina Boots and Olivia Knight Friday. "It's just taken off."

      Briscoe came up with the idea after she saw her own shop boarded up for the first time in late March. "I didn't notice it till I saw the building from a distance and I said, 'Oh my God, it' looks so bad," she said. "I woke up in the morning and I thought, 'I know artists.'"

      Briscoe has now heard Robson Street is interested in pursuing a similar project, and expects to see work popping up there this week.

      Note that the BIA in Gastown is encouraging people not to see these works as a physical gallery but a virtual one as images are shared online. Here are some more shots of the murals a they've appeared over the weekend:

      Artist David Austin's work outside Dutil Denim in Gastown.
      A work by David Austin
      A work by Finn Rainsley-Ray
      Emerald Repard-Denniston's mural
      A paramedic checks out the personalized thank you murals by Sydney Alleyne (right) and Sarah Orsmond outside Kimprints.
      Breece Austin's original image of Dr. Theresa Tam was one of the original works that sparked the trend.