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A playful twist on an art gallery experience in a typically marginalized location.

Mounted proudly on the outdoor cinder block wall of a downtown alleyway, Revelstoke’s interpretation of a masterpiece stands to be admired by all who pass by.

An integral part of Revelstoke’s Art Alleries, the Monaskisa is 8ft tall, 4ft wide and constructed from approximately 126 pieces of old skis and snowboards previously destined for the landfill. As skis are built specifically for the rigors of outdoor use, Rob Buchanan, the artist behind the installations, knew they would be the perfect medium for outdoor art.

To be honest, I just wanted to see if I could extend the life spans of these skis, objects so synonymous with Revelstoke and winter, that were doomed for the dump. It seemed so sad to just toss them aside after all the effort that went into building them, as well as all the fun they brought their owners. When I was first given all these old skis and snowboards I wondered if it was possible to create a masterpiece out of garbage? Still not sure of this, but it’s certainly possible to ‘recreate’ a masterpiece. And now I eagerly await for the first snowfall. I can’t wait to see those giant Selkirk snowflakes slowly drift and fall onto these forgotten top-sheets and ptex bases, a scene so familiar to their past, one more time. – Rob Buchanan

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Revelstoke’s newest public art initiative, launched in 2019, aims to transform our downtown alleyways into outdoor art galleries. Alleyways are frequently overlooked, avoided and not often associated with with art or tourism. As a legacy project by the organizers of LUNA Festival, Art Alleries revitalize dark and disused places into thriving public spaces for locals and visitors to walk through and enjoy.

Sustainability was a huge factor in building and operating the Alleries. The large gilded frames are made from recycled water bottles and sawdust, the light is generated by solar panels, all of the art is made entirely with retired skis and snowboards, and even the powder-coated aluminium panels can be recycled at the end of their life, decades from now.

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LUNA Festival is a city wide contemporary arts festival which celebrated its third year in September. It transforms the usual into the unusual and the ordinary into the extraordinary, as the streets become a living art gallery, full of installations and performances from artists across Canada. This year LUNA transformed into a three day event and expanded to include LUNA Sound, a night of live music featuring seven bands across three stages, and LUNA Studio, an interactive opportunity to engage with the artists behind the installations.

LUNA 2020 will be taking place September 25th – 27th and the organisers plan to add a new Allery to Revelstoke. Follow along by joining their Facebook event here.

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Go see Revelstoke’s Art Alleries for yourself, located on an alleyway between Connaught and Mackenzie Ave right in downtown Revelstoke.

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