Alberta University of the Arts presents second mural for Vivid 2021

Alberta University of the Arts is pleased to present part two of “Vivid” 2021: The AUArts Alumni Second Anniversary Project.

The second of two murals created by alumni celebrate our second year as Alberta University of the Arts offering a bright spot in a busy corridor connecting AUArts and the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium via the busy LRT line. A dazzling story both captivates and catches your eye as you walk through the long hallway to the doors while on your way to the LRT station.

The second “Vivid” mural was created by alum Mike Hooves, BDes ’16, Illustration and is viewable when leaving the University through the doors taking you outside to the LRT. Mike also enlisted the assistance of two third year AUArts students, Natalia Ionescu and Terri Lemire to help complete the mural.

Image Credit: Michael Nguyen

We learned more from Mike about what they have been up to since graduating and the inspiration behind the mural.

AUArts: Please tell us about your mural.
MH: The mural is celebration of travel and rest. My concept comes from how the mural is interacted with as it is only viewed when you are leaving the hallway. Many students and guests are specifically going to the c-train, which is represented in the background as blue and red lines. The teal line is indicative of the Bow River which all of us engage with as we travel to and from AUArts. The figures are at rest, which is what many of us are doing as we head out to our homes, recreation, or for a meal. I wanted to create a fun, playful, bold visual-- one last pop of bright color before you leave the creative bubble of AUArts and the Jubilee Auditorium. I’m influenced by Keith Haring for his simple yet effective imagery, which is both gestural and visually accessible/relatable. I was also directly inspired by the C-train maps I encountered so often in proximity to this doorway.

AUArts: What have you been up to since graduation?
MH: I've continued to draw while also trying to expand my practice by working on film sets, making films, animating, and performing. In 2019 I was involved in my first residency through Arts Commons where I created a marker portrait series titled Prairie Queer. I created my first mural through the Palimpshed residency in 2020, and I've made a number of murals for various clients since. Currently I am mid-residency with silkscreen work at Burnt Toast Studio, and the results of that residency will be up for display in October.

AUArts: How was it working with two students?
MH: It was a gentle exercise in leading and learning. The two students I worked with, Natalia and Terri, are hardworking and inquisitive, we joked that we became a mural amoeba as we became one organism painting away. Both are going through the same VCD program I graduated from, and it was a pleasure hearing where they were in their journey, and where they hoped to go, and I got to feel sagely by sharing advice!

AUArts: What are you working on now?
MH: I'm currently creating a cute mural for the Sunnyside Murals project happening this August. Additionally I am collaborating with an AUArts alum on a Pride mural that will be revealed in September.

The AUArts campus is currently closed to the public for the summer with plans to reopen Fall 2021. Once reopened, the AUArts community and the general public are invited to visit the mural.