We Talk Murals with Klara Manhal of Art/Seen Vancouver

Murals are a merging of art and daily life.

They bring together the beauty of life in spaces that don’t require an art gallery. They allow the experience of art to be more than just visual, but something that brings together communities.

Meet Klara Manhal, founder of Art Seen Vancouver, and fieldtripp host helping bring Vancouver’s biggest celebration of public art to life.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m a Vancouver local who holds a masters in Art History from UBC. I love connecting people to the vibrant spaces and installations that make this city great. I also hope to ignite passions and show that the tools for understanding art are already at anyone’s disposal.

What is the vision behind Vancouver Mural Festival?

The vision of the Vancouver Mural Festival is to create positive community impact and transform the fabric of the city with outstanding street, mural and public art. With the production of over 35 new, permanent murals and a host of exciting community events and music performances, VMF celebrates Vancouver’s great art scene, bringing visibility to the outrageous talent in this city and beyond.

Tell us about your walking tours.

There are two different one-hour long art tours, a walking tour and a bike tour. They will run throughout the festival day on August 20th. The walking tour leaves at 12, 2, 4 and 6pm and the bike tour at 1, 3 and 5pm.

Designed to provide exciting insights into the meaning behind the murals, the tours will explore the artists’ vision for the artwork, as well as their medium and way of working. Some of the highlights include Hootsuite and MakerLab’s full building wrap around murals as well as two new large-scale murals at the Native Education College in celebration of its 30th anniversary.

What excites you about the art scene in Vancouver right now?

With a myriad of public art initiatives including those supported by the City’s Public Art Program, Vancouver’s public art scene has quickly become rich and dynamic with an awesome collection of artworks. Varying in scope and size, these public art projects engage artists at different points in their careers including emergent and established artists with international reputations, as well as international artists with global reach.


Because of its high visibility, public art presents a unique opportunity to showcase artistic talent while enhancing the public realm and deeply enriching our experience of it. The VMF is a great example of how bringing art to the streets creates positive community impact. I find that very exciting.

Who inspires you?

Gerda Steiner & Jorg Lenzlinger, an artist team from Switzerland. I am inspired by their large-scale, immersive installations that are always cleverly site specific and enchantingly magical. They are masters at creating fantastical worlds that envelop the viewer, expanding the possibilities of human experience. 

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