Art festival takes over downtown alley

An alleyway in downtown Edmonton got a colourful makeover Saturday afternoon as the space was turned into an art festival by people who would like to see the space better used.

“Back alleys are traditionally thought of as something that is scary and dark and dirty,” said Toscha Turner, one of the organizers of Edmonton on the Edge.

The group focused on drawing attention to the alley north of Jasper Ave, between 102nd St. and 105th St.

“We’re hoping to engage the community to take ownership of this pace and transform it into something that is filled with light and activity and art and community.”

Pieces of art were chosen through a competition and then hung over the dumpsters in the alleyway. Organizers also set up a plywood graffiti wall to allow people to spray paint their own work along the walls facing the alley.

Edmonton on the Edge has used the alley several times this year to host events and arts installations. Turner says the hope is to get more people thinking about how to use the alley and others like it, instead of just leaving it as wasted space.

“We thought members that aren’t normally engaged in this neighbourhood might come out for this,” she said.

The group’s plan is to turn the alley into a more attractive public space, with landscaping, activity spaces and art.