Northwest Calgary Art Tour

August 25, 2022 by University District

Community art is so much more than an aesthetic enhancement to our neighbourhoods. Art evokes emotion, stimulates dialogue and gives people a reason to hit pause on life. Northwest Calgary is home to a number of public art features and murals. Let’s take a closer look at a few of them.

University District already has some unique art installations throughout the community. We’ve compiled a list of five community art installations that are worth a visit, including a sneak-peek at what’s to come!

Stop One – The Argyle Installation

The first installation worth checking out is the #EverythingArgyle exhibit. This series of custom, interactive backdrops provides the perfect spot for you to fill your Instagram feed with bright colours and bold designs. If Instagram isn’t your thing, you can capture some great memories with friends, family members or even your pets to look back on for years to come.

Local artists Cory Bugen, Sarah Lamoureux, and Vince Lau created the installation, bringing the sidewalk along the construction zone to life. The #EverythingArgyle exhibit located along 39th St NW & University Ave NW was developed by Homes by Avi and University District in conjunction with Park Productions.

We asked these local artists what inspired their design choices for the backdrops.

Cory and Sarah said, “We’re constantly inspired by the weird side of history, odd things about our province that kind of make you go “huh?”, with dinosaurs and UFO sightings being two of our favourites. Being home means embracing the good and strange parts of where we live, which was the inspiration for this project, standing in the shadow of an Albertosaurus, licking a giant ice cream, or heading to infinity on a bistro set.”

Vince told us, “My inspiration came from my muse, Pixel my dog, who loves to go to the University District’s dog park, where he enjoys making new friends and fetching balls. Recently, I have been into illustrating all kinds of pets, and I thought this project would be a perfect fit.”
During this limited-time exhibition, a weekly contest by Homes by Avi is running on Instagram. Contests will include and highlight local University District retailers. You’re invited to visit and pose with these beautiful backdrops, tag @homesbyaviyyc and use hashtag #EverythingArgyle for a chance to win (limited time only). For more information, visit their website here.

Stop Two – Mindful and Vibrant

If you’ve driven down University Avenue in the last year, you’ve probably seen the 32 foot-long Mindful Vibrant Mural at the base of the future home of Alt Hotel. This unique piece was developed by another local artist, Rhys Douglas Farrell. While simple in nature, the piece was actually painted by the community, as an interactive paint-by-number project completed in Summer 2021. Allowing residents and visitors to pick up a paint brush was a great way to engage the community and encourage them to have some fun. This piece was designed to be bold and spark positivity, using colours and powerful words that reflect the essence of U/D.

Says Farrell, “Using the words ‘mindful’ and ‘vibrant’ communicates to the viewer that the world is moving forward. The purpose of this piece is to brighten and highlight this new area while still being mindful of each other’s personal space and comfort.”

This exhibit also makes the perfect stop to fuel up! University Avenue is home to Monogram Coffee, The Canadian Brewhouse, Freshii, and many more restaurants and eateries.

Stop Three – Studio Luma

Art doesn’t need to be in a gallery to be a beautiful addition to a space or community. Studio Luma is creating a playful and alive experience, with a concrete jungle theme where nature emerges through traditional and digital art. The whole concept is based on “passion for people to feel connected by animating nature and its beauty; giving the land a voice.” This installation will take people on a journey from the parkade, into the elevators and then spill out into Central Commons Park with an immersive experience. Stay tuned for details on this exciting mixed media piece and an opening date later this fall. 

Stop Four – Nickle Galleries

A short walk from University Avenue you will find the University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries.

Founded in 1979, this institution in fine arts has been home to more than 739 exhibits. If you plan on stopping by before September 10, you can expect to see an exhibit called, There’s Nothing Strange Here. Presented by the 2022 University of Calgary Master of Fine Arts graduates, visitors will enjoy everything from oil and acrylic painting to digitally immersive experiences.

Stop Five – ‘Roger That’ Community Installation

Completed in 2017, this City of Calgary Installation was developed to be enjoyed by pedestrians, cyclists and drivers who pass the Tuscany LRT station. Its striking height can be enjoyed at all hours of the day thanks to glowing lights that emerge off the sculpture after dusk. No matter which angle you view the piece from, visitors will always be able to see something new.


Even More Art to Love

We know U/D residents and neighbours love their dogs. What better way to capture this than a Dogs of U/D Mural!  At this year’s Tails & Treasures event (which is all about dogs), local chalk artist Rozzie Lee joined us for an interactive art experience. She captured local pooches throughout the event and has been working hard to create a custom art piece that will be showcased in U/D . Keep your eyes peeled on our social media channels to see when and where it will pop up! Below is a preview of some of the furry friends who will be featured.

Rozzie also joined us at the University District Night Market in July. Visitors of all ages dropped by the Discovery Centre to add some colour to the walkways with beautiful chalk illustrations, reflecting favourite summertime activities.  While these beautiful creations have slowly disappeared with time, you can always expect us to have something new up our sleeves when it comes to bringing art to the northwest corner of the city.

Do you follow us on Twitter? Keep up to date with the latest news at @UDistrictYYC.

Join the Discussion

Comments are moderated before being posted. Your email address is required but will not be published.

Join our email list for more information and our newsletter.
I'm interested in learning more about:
Popular Keywords
For the Love of NW Calgary: Meet U/D Residents with Deep Roots in the Area
Upcoming Events at U/D this Spring and Summer
New Builder Feature: Crystal Creek Homes Launching GUILD at University District
See All Blog Posts
2023, A year in review, active, Activity, Age-friendly community, Aging in place, Alberta, Alberta Children's Hospital, All ages, ALT Hotel, Alt Hotels, amenities, Ana Cummings, apartment rental, Aria, Artist, August, Bakeries, baking tips, Balcony, Balcony Decor, BBQ, beard grooming, Bike routes, BILD Awards, Block Party, blockbuster movie night, Bookstores, Bragg Creek, Breakfast, Brenda Stafford Foundation, Brenda Strafford Foundation, Brookfield Residential, Brunch, Bubble Tea, Bucket List, Budget, Budget conscious, Builder Launch, Building Industry and Land Development, Business, Calgary, Calgary Activities, Calgary Art, Calgary bakeries, Calgary business, Calgary community, Calgary Drinks, Calgary events, Calgary Fitness, Calgary Hearing, Calgary LRT, Calgary Parks, Calgary Real Estate, Calgary restaurants, Calgary staycation, Calgary tourism, Calgary Trails, Calgary Transit, Calgary Women, Cambridge Manor, Canada, Canada Day, Canmore, Capella, Cartwright lighting & furniture, Celebration, centerpieces, Central Commons, Charcut, charity, cineplex, Classes, Cochrane, comfort food, Community, community festival, Community Living, condo life, condos, connections, contest, cookie baking, cooking, cooking together, Creative, Crystal Creek Homes, Curious Hair, Curious Salon, Date Ideas, Date night, Decor, Decor Shops, Decor Tips, Denim & Smith, Dental, dental care, design styles, Dining, Discovery Centre, DIY, dog park, Dogs, Downsize, downsizing, downsizing tips, Easter, Eco decor, eLearning, Entertainment, environment, events, exercise, Explore, Fall, Fall Decor, fall design, family, Father's Day, Financial, fitness, fitness as we age, food, food waste, Functional Fitness, Garden Maintenance, gardening, gift guide, giving back, golf, Green Calgary, Grey Cup, Group Germain Hotels, Guide to Northwest Calgary, gym, hair grooming, Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Foods, Hearing loss, hobbies, holiday, holiday activities, Holiday Budget, holiday memories, Holiday movies, holiday parties, holiday season, holiday traditions, holiday wines, home, Home Automation, home decor, Home Maintenance, home office, Home organization, Home Ownership, Home Technology, homemade pizza, Homeowners, hosting the holidays, housing, I Can for Kids, IBI Group, Ice Cream, Ice Cream Shops, Ice Rink, inclusive, Interior Design, Interior Design for your pets, Interior Design Tips, interior lighting, International Womens Day, Isolation, Jayman BUILT, Kananaskis, kids learning, Level Playing Field, lighting, local, local business, local good, Love on Main Street, love your pet, made in Calgary, Magna, Maple, Market Wines, McKinley Burkart, meal prep, meals, mens grooming, mental health, mindful spaces, Mother's Day Brunch, Movies at home, moving, multi-generational, Nature, New at UD, New homes, New Projects, New Resident, Night Market, North Calgary, North Hill Mall, North Pond, Northwest Calgary, Northwest Calgary Brunch, Northwest Commons Park, Northwest neighbour, Northwestival, nutrition tips, NW Calgary, Office, Olympic Oval, online learning, Orangetheory, Organization, outdoors, Park n' Play Design, Parks, Partners, party hosting tips, Patio Decor, pet care, pet love, Photography, plant, plant care, play space, Playcore National Demonstration Site, playground, Programs, puppy love, rafting, real estate, recipes, redecorating, rent to own, rentals, restaurant, Retail, Retail Main Street, retailers, Rightsize, Romance, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Save-On-Foods, seasonal maintenance, senior health, Senior living, Seniors, sensory gadgets, shop local, Skating, Smaller space living, Smart Home, Sports, Spring, Spring Cleaning, Staples, Staycation, Summer Activities, Summer Food, summer getaways, sustainable design, table setting, tablescape, Thanksgiving, The Space Reclaimers, things to do, tips, Tips and Tricks, tourism calgary, townhome, townhome living, townhouse living, Trails in Northwest Calgary, travel, travel alberta, TREC Dental, U/D, UCalgary, UD Events, UD Life, UDLife, University District, University District Dental, University of Calgary, Urban Balcony, urban dog park, Urban Garden, Urban Patio Decor, Valentines Day, Vegan Cuisine, Vegan Food, Vendors, vermicomposting, Village Ice Cream, Volunteer, Volunteerism, Walking, West Campus Development Trust, Wine, wine experience, Winefest, Winsport Zipline, winter, winter activities, winter festival, Winter Fitness, winter fun, winter memories, winter pet care, winter pet care tips, winter traditions, winter warm up, Winter workout, women grooming, Women Leaders, workouts, Yard, year in review, YYC Events, YYC Hot Chocolate Fest

Discover NW Calgary's most interesting places, people and things

Visit Our Channel

Looking for something to do in NW Calgary?

Check Out Our Event Calendar

The University District blog is a resource for Calgarians who want to live, work, play, visit or buy in the northwest. We will provide you with information, stories, news and a closer look at the things that matter so you can live a more inspired, active and connected life in NW Calgary at University District… Life works here.