Walking Tour of the Sault Ste. Marie’s Murals

19 culturally significant murals From LOCAL INDIGENOUS ARTISTS as well as artists from all over the world.

In 2019 Sault Ste. Marie commissioned the creation of large scale murals by both globally renowned artists as well as exceptional talent within our own community. The next year local partners launched the inaugural Summer Moon Festival created to celebrate art and the many voices in our community. Since 2019, new murals have been added each year, bringing the current total as of Spring 2024 to 19!

Enjoy the murals year-round on a walking tour of Sault Ste. Marie with all the information below.

BATTLE FOR THE SEVEN CLANS

By Thomas Sinclair

816 Bay St

www.instagram.com/tsinclair76/

 

Thomas Sinclair is Ojibway from Couchiching First Nation. As a young boy, Thomas was mentored in the art of Woodland style by the late Isadore Wadow. Currently residing in Sault Ste. Marie, Thomas has found happiness in returning to these roots and sharing his art with the world.

The inspiration for this mural comes from the sacred stories passed down for generations through the Anishinaabe Indigenous Peoples. Stories of Aadizookaan, Tales of Nanabijou, and pictographs of the area. The mural features Mishipeshu which is a very prominent mythological water being that is featured in the Agawa Pictographs. Nanabijou was a shape shifter that is part human, bear, thunderbird, and plant. 

Battle for the Seven Clans
Battle for the Severn Clans

In the creation story Nanabijou and Mishipeshu were battling one another for the seven clans and overall humanity. In the mural these incredible beings are powered by women on either side. The North wall features a woman with berries in her hair. She has a strawberry heart and is holding a bear cub and thunderbird nest. This woman represents the spiritual medicine. Mishipeshu is powered by a woman on the west side of the building. Her spine made of strawberry and also has a heart berry. Her hand is made of a vine that grows more Berries. Both of these women draw their strength from Mother Earth.

Breakthrough

By Katrina 

826 Bay St

www.instagram.com/thibodeau_art/

Katrina is an established Canadian artist, and has been gaining traction internationally within the past year. With hyper realistic monochromatic and full colour portraits being her main focus due to the boldness and raw ability in allowing her to capture emotion, this artist’s talent is depicted on the canvas as she lets the art speak for itself to draw out deep emotion from her viewer. By leaving the background of her works predominantly untouched, it intends to draw focus onto every expression, no matter how subtle, hoping to impact the viewers in different ways.

“There was an array of different narratives that started running through my mind when I was met with the opportunity to create this mural. I wanted to portray something that would allow the viewers to look inward, and process different emotions while taking it in. Left side of the wall is bricks cracking and breaking off exposing a portrait of a women hidden behind. Right side of the wall is a hand reaching through to find beauty in the world. This piece encompasses the process leading up to a final breakthrough. Being on one side of a wall which is metaphorically representing the feelings and insecurities of loneliness and fear, all the while unaware of the positive outcome on the other side. Finding the courage to break down those walls we all carry within us is the first step in all forms of healing. As daunting of a leap as this may seem, the first step, and each one that follows will help uncover faith in a world where many walk in fear. This aspect is highlighted by what the woman is holding in her hand. Although she cannot see it, does not make it any less real.”

kat stare
Breakthrough
20220623-Z62_3354
Breakthrough

Northern Flight

By Alexander Bacon

816 Bay St (West Wall)

www.instagram.com/vizsla_bacon/ 

Northern Flight
Northern Flight

Known for his works lining the alleyways and streets of Toronto, Alex ‘Bacon’ Lazich began painting in the 1990s as a teenager. His work has evolved to deconstructing traditional graffiti spray techniques to create an abstract graffiti style while maintaining letter form.  

This mural depicts a Canadian goose found in the Sault Ste. Marie area, painted in a kaleidoscope stained letter style of graffiti lettering, lines, shapes and shadows. The style of this mural is very modern, but is inspired by classic artists including impressionists and Old Masters. Bacon’s goal with his art is to make people smile and change the vibe of neighborhoods.

CHanging Tides

By Tyler Toews

654 Queen St E (East Wall)

www.instagram.com/jerryrugg  

www.jerryrugg.com

Mural
Changing Tides

The octopus is a highly intelligent creature, with a remarkable ability to solve complex problems. As the most advanced invertebrate on earth, it serves as a symbol of the complexity and intelligence of the natural world. This image displays the octopus attempting to change the plastic problem, bringing attention to the pressing environmental issues we face today.

The octopus is a highly intelligent creature, with a remarkable ability to solve complex problems. As the most advanced invertebrate on earth, it serves as a symbol of the complexity and intelligence of the natural world. This image displays the octopus attempting to change the plastic problem, bringing attention to the pressing environmental issues we face today.

Spirt Horse

By Cindy Haat

654 Queen St E (East Wall)

Cindy began painting professionally in the medium of oil on canvas following her university studies in fine arts. Photography and sketching have been the main tools used in researching and composing her artwork. Cindy currently enjoy the freedom of painting with acrylics and her work has been described as “…energetic, fearless, full of emotion”. She strives to be free and relaxed in her approach to the actual painting process and enjoys researching subjects and trying to capture the essence of people, animals, and places as vibrantly as possible.

Inspired by the animated movie ‘Spirit’. “When the kids were little we watched it over and over again. At the time I had been exploring Metis heritage through art, exploring Ojibway style woodland type of painting. The horse and sun and land are all connected as we are to Mother Earth. Bebezhigooganzhii is the Ojibwa word for horse.”

Spirit Horse
Spirit Horse

Rolling Pictures Horse

By Jerry Rugg (aka Birdo)

498 Queen St. E

www.instagram.com/jerryrugg  

www.jerryrugg.com

Rolling Pictures Horse
Rolling Pictures Horse

Jerry Rugg aka birdO is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto. While his surreal geometric animals can be found on canvas, in digital print, and installation, birdO is primarily known for his large-scale mural work on walls and buildings around the world.

Painting on the side of the Rolling Pictures building, birdO reimagines the company’s horse in his unique surreal style. With a cohesive colour scheme and elements of motion, the large-scale galloping creature is impossible to miss. Painted within the eye of the horse is a reflection of the church on Spring St. in the Soo.

Planta Muisca

By Daniela Rocha Moreno (musica)

80 March Street

www.instagram.com/_muisca_/

Daniela is from Columbia and was inspired by her homeland to paint a jungle theme with big bold graphics depicting nature and flowers.

A colourful magical jungle piece featuring Bachué. A mother goddess that according to the Muisca religion is the mother of humanity.

Planta Muisca
Planta Muisca

Throw Kindness Around

By Annie King

421 Bay St.

www.instagram.com/anniekingartist/

Throw Kindness Around
Throw Kindness Around

The Kindness Mural, a bold and graphic explosion of line and form, draws attention to the message to throw kindness around like confetti. Painted in the height of Covid-19 Annie was inspired to create a municipal landmark that sparks positivity and connection in isolated times.

Annie’s work melds the borders of drawing, sculpture and media installation, most recently exploring our interactions to the natural environment through observations of natural phenomena, and when she’s not doing that she paints pretty pictures of flora and fauna for no particular reason.

Girls in Strewberry Field

By Milkbox

78 Elgin Street. 

www.instagram.com/milkboxtheartist/

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Girls in Strawberry Field

Kayla Buium, the street artist known as Milkbox, is an illustrator and professional rollerskater from Toronto, Canada. She uses bright colours and rubbery characters to spread positive messages to her community.

The girls depicted are leading each other into a brighter, happier, loving future, which is related to what the foodbank is doing to the people of the community. The strawberry, which is grown in Northern Ontario represents the heart, the bear represents strength and courage, and this too mirrors the foodbank, which represents the heart and strength of the community

ring neck

By Rihkee Strapp & Mishiikenh Kwe ndizhnikaaaz.

345 Queen St. E

www.instagram.com/mishiikenhkweart

Rihkee Strapp is a two-spirited Métis of the Wolverine Clan and was born in the small Northwestern community of Red Lake, Ontario. They are a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice includes traditional woodland painting, installation, performance, and social practice. Growing up, Rihkee was inspired by their grandmother’s print collective by the Woodland artists of the Triple K Cooperative silk screen company, who came out of Red Lake.

Mishiikenh Kwe (Turtle Woman) is Anishinaabe (Ojibwe/Odawa) from the caribou clan, her community is Magnetawan First Nation. She grew up listening to stories from her grandmother who is an Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe language) teacher from Wiikwemkoong and draw most of my inspiration for paintings from those stories, thoughts and teachings I got from her and from ceremonies I attend.

Ring Neck
Ring Neck

Mishiikenh Kwe and Rihkee Strapp first began painting murals together at Nimkii Aazhibikong. Mishiikenh Kwe has always loved painting snakes because of her experience working in species at risk. While doing community outreach Mishiikenh Kwe noticed that lots of people expressed fear and dislike for snakes. Together the artists want to honour the snake and to build appreciation. Ring necked snakes are named for their distinct coloured pattern around their neck. This small local snake, if threatened will displays its bright underbelly to scare off predators.

phoenix rising

By Darren Emond

350 Queen St. E

www.instagram.com/darrenemond5

Phoenix Rising
Phoenix Rising

“My work, and by extension, my life; has always been heavily influenced by horror, science fiction and comic books. When the owners of Outspoken brewery requested dragons burning down a city as their contribution to the downtown’s arts initiative, I got the call. My initial sketch was enthusiastically approved as it captured the 80’s metal album cover and post-apocalyptic feel that they were looking for. I don’t often get the opportunity to do commercial work that I can invest so much of my personality into; as a result, this has been amongst the more rewarding commissions of my career. I can only hope that the final product stokes the imagination and creativity of those who visit the terrace, enjoying a pint whilst bathed in dragonfire. “

Sacred Story

By Thomas Sinclair

27 King St

www.instagram.com/tsinclair76/

Thomas Sinclair’s second mural is found opposite Outspoken brewery on Queen street. Its part of the story of Aadizookaan, sacred story. Normally the story is only spoken when snow is on the ground, or when the Pleiades is in the sky. Thomas believes it’s so important to share these stories, because we are losing so many of our elders and knowledge carriers.

Sacred Story
Sacred Story
Sacred Story
Sacred Story

Tree of Life on the Rapids

By Patrick Hunter

298 Queen St. E

www.instagram.com/patrickhunter_art

Tree of Life of the Rapids
Tree of Life on the Rapids

“Tree of Life on the Rapids” was created to make people feel good, and to remind the viewer that all things in this life are connected. It depicts the “Tree of Life”, an iconic symbol for many cultures, which Sault Ste. Marie is becoming a home for. Behind the tree is the sun, which provides the energy needed for everything here on earth relies. From the tree of life comes our food, tools we need, wood for our homes, and the fire we use to keep ourselves warm.

As your eye travels down the trunk, the roots remind us that we need a firm foundation so we can stay grounded in this life. Another essential part of our life is water, which roots will always seek. As your eye scans to the right you can see them transforming into the rapids that Sault Ste. Marie has long been known for. In the middle of this transition is the raven. Before the use of modern technology, they were used to carry messages over long distances. Using the raven as a symbol of communication, visually represents Village Media and their goal of conveying community news.

Summer Stoop

By Emmanuel Jarus

124 Bruce St

www.instagram.com/youngjarus /

Summer stoop is a mural based on a photo I took of someone I admired sitting on a stoop on a summer morning with their coffee cup still in hand, I added an extra hand to emphasize the relaxed gesture. I chose this composition because I felt it best suited the wall based on all the variables and factors I could manage to account for in my head when planning the design. It has all blue tones similar to the majority of my mural works lately, so this piece is a continuation of my blue mural period. I am proud to create a work in Sault Ste. Marie as it is somewhere I frequently visit on my Canadian road trips.

Emmanuel Jarus is a Canadian-born artist and muralist inspired by the visual human experience. His work reimagines how art can exist in public spaces. For the past 13 years, Jarus has been working with communities across Canada and around the globe to produce large-scale portraits and figures among other images on wall surfaces. They can be found within major cities as well as across rural settings. He has had notable international recognition as a contemporary muralist and figurative painter.
He studied briefly at the Academy of Realist Art in Toronto but attributes his knowledge of art to various influences including his grandmother, inspiration from graffiti, and resources found on the internet. The narrative Jarus depicts in his approach communicates a story of individual spirit relevant to the metabolism of that particular neighborhood.


A combination of acrylic, latex and aerosol paint is used to create representations of the people he’s inspired by along his travels. He enjoys painting in public space so that he can understand its context and express it through his work.

Mural
Summer Stoop
Mural
Summer Stoop

Peace

By Katrina

250 Queen St E

www.instagram.com/thibodeau_art/

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Peace

Katrina is an established Canadian artist, and has been gaining traction internationally within the past year. With hyper realistic monochromatic and full colour portraits being her main focus due to the boldness and raw ability in allowing her to capture emotion, this artist’s talent is depicted on the canvas as she lets the art speak for itself to draw out deep emotion from her viewer. By leaving the background of her works predominantly untouched, it intends to draw focus onto every expression, no matter how subtle, hoping to impact the viewers in different ways.

“I believe peace in its truest form, comes from within. For this mural I wanted to take the opportunity to represent the name of the restaurant the mural is being painted on in a literal way. The global symbol of peace, representing freedom from judgement, exclusion and negativity, is understood regardless of what language you speak. If we collectively conducted our lives with this symbol in mind imagine what the world could be.”

Hockey Town

By Mark Grandinetti

216 Queen St

www.instagram.com/mancaveart/

Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Mark Grandinetti is a local artist who primarily creates pop art pieces often featuring cartoon and comic book characters, as well as images and figures from sports and entertainment. Heavily influenced by street art, graffiti, and modern art, his work often employs bold colours and evokes a sense of nostalgia.

This mural is inspired by the Soo Greyhounds, who play hockey across the street from the mural. It’s a recognition of the impact of hockey in the town and Mark hopes the mural will be an inspiration to artists and hockey players alike. 

Hockey Town
Hockey Town

The painting features former Greyhound stars including Wayne Gretzky, Joe Thornton, Matt Murray and Darnell Nurse, who not only went on to have illustrious careers in the NHL, but have also proven to be great ambassadors for the game. Greyhounds hockey brings people together and helps to create a sense of community in Sault Ste. Marie.

“Hockey is more than a game. In Canada, it is a way of life. It encourages us to be gracious in victory and defeat. It teaches us to stay humble and play hard and to never give up ever.”

Two Ships, Three Elks; There Is No Folly Of The Beasts Of The Earth, Which Is Not Infinitely Outdone By The Madness Of Men

By Jean Paul

216 Bay St

www.instagram.com/jeanpaullanglois/

stare
Two Ships, Three Elks; There Is No Folly Of The Beasts Of The Earth, Which Is Not Infinitely Outdone By The Madness Of Men.

Jean Paul is a Métis artist from Vancouver Island, currently painting in East Vancouver. His work is informed by television and cinema, particularly Westerns, 70s sci-fi and Saturday morning cartoons. Using ultra-saturated colours, references to art history and well-worn cinema tropes, he seeks to understand the alienation to his own cultural backgrounds, both indigenous and settler. His work is an examination of his own life, through the reinterpretation of family stories using characters and motifs from the pop culture he was weaned on. The result is a very recognizable style of familiar figures in their own world of bright colours and flattened space.

The piece is inspired by some of the shipwrecks and landscape of Lake Superior, and the Elks… Jean Paul has a personal connection with Elks and has created many works of art that feature Elks including ‘War With The Elks’

Coyotes

By Fatspatrol

126 Queet St. E

www.instagram.com/peru143/

www.fatspatrol.com

I love wildlife that bother humans. We’ve made such a mess of their habitats and then are so peeved when they wander our communities trying to survive and thrive. I hope they win. We have much to learn from the ways of the natural world.

I asked Jason, the owner of this building, the first thing that came to mind for themes and he mentioned his dog that is often mistaken for a coyote. And so this wall kind of wrote itself. I really loved painting this, chatting to locals in a neighbourhood that is a little rough around the edges but has loads of heart. That’s where the magic is. In conversations and encounters that wouldn’t have happened any other way that shift us in the slightest ways.

Mural
Coyotes
Mural
Coyotes

Cultural Connections

Cultural Connections is a truly unique collaboration between three great artists. On the right hand side facing the mural is the Falcon. The Falcon is representative of the area.

In the centre is Peru’s art. Peru143 is an internationally recognized Peruvian-Canadian muralist. Rooted in Positivism, Peru’s work aims to heal and uplift people’s spirits by transforming neglected and often oppressive spaces into safe, playful, and imaginative worlds. He describes his style as “playful geometry”. “All my work revolves around one common purpose; to heal, inspire and uplift people’s spirits. I didn’t know what I was going to paint until the moment we were all staring at the wall together. I was given the word “Biindigen” which means “Welcome” in Ojibwe and ran with it. This was the most effortless collaboration I’ve ever been a part of with communication often reduced to a nod. I couldn’t be prouder to have worked alongside legends Bacon and QueRock on this magical mural. 3 guys, 3 days and over 300 cans. One Love.”

QRock’s mural is on the left hand side. It depicts a medicine wheel; seven grandfathers and the thirteen grandmother clan system. Lots of geometry in the painting is based off of the teachings. Medicine wheels is 4 directions, seasons, earth, wind, fire, water. Wanted to create those layers of sacred geometry, so that it gives you a visual healing effect.

Cultural Connections
Sacred Story
Cultural Connections
Sacred Story