Shaughnessy Underpass Mural Project
Leigh Square Community Arts Village
City of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada

The Leigh Square Community Arts Village artist in Residence Bert Monterona was working with the youth and community members on the Shaughnessy Underpass mural project from June to October 2009.

The series of community-based murals are 8 x 100 foot in length and will cover one side of the concrete wall on the Shaughnessy Street Underpass. Bert Monterona, muralist, art educator, cultural activist, and artist-in-residence was brought on board in 2008 to begin the process of creating a public art piece that reflects Port Coquitlam and its community. Residents of Port Coquitlam were encouraged to participate through workshops and community mural making. Such workshops and interactive mural painting increases the citizen’s level of awareness through participation. They contribute to the understanding of the role of creativity in developing strong communities. Over ten artists collaborated with Monterona throughout the duration of this civic project, generating ideas, painting the murals, and providing support and over twenty-four participants took part in workshops to learn the skills to paint murals.
Completed murals will enhance the walls of the Shaughnessy Underpass and contribute towards the “Necklace Project”, a collaborative initiative to highlight the uniqueness of each community.

“The Necklace Project is imagined as ten public art projects threaded together as individual jewels on a necklace of common purpose and inter-municipal collaboration in 10 municipalities throughout Metro Vancouver. Each work of art will illuminate the unique qualities of the host municipality through the artistic expression of the contribution it makes to the culture and life of the Lower Mainland. Revealing an inner
light of each community - its history, its diversity or a truth of its underlying nature, exceptional in day and night, each work will be integral to its strategically selected site in each municipality”.

The Shaughnessy Underpass Murals are the kind of public art project that demonstrates Port Coquitlam’s dedication to unity in diversity, concerns for global warming, and a celebration of life in the beautiful City of Port Coquitlam. The murals provoke thoughts on these issues and initiates public discussions as it projects topics on peace, environment, gender equality, and sensitivity.

The Leigh Square Community Arts Village is dedicated to encouraging and facilitating community development through arts, culture and heritage by creating a visible presence for community cultural activities within Port Coquitlam and contributing to the enlivening of the downtown core.

Collaborating Artists: ZENY NIELSEN, CHRISTINE MALONE, CAROL MOFFAT, LAURA GENOVESE, VAL BORDIAN, NIKKI HILLMAN, THERESA DISNEY, EMMIE DIZON, HEATHER CONNELLY VOLPE, LUCIEN NASILOWSKI,  JUDI FOX AND MONNA LOU MONTERONA