Murals @ Gaukel

44 Gaukel is home to many amazing murals done by artists in the Kitchener Waterloo community. Take a look at some of the works and learn about the artists who created them!

 Images above by John Spaulding 

SHY SHAYESTÉ by Mélika Hashemi

Mélika is a Kitchener-based artist-researcher who uses art as a device to find ways to renew intersectionality beyond screens and institutional walls. Mélika’s #FleeingTheFolio series explores displacement as a struggle to define or situate one’s identity when seeking or building community — it is to be stuck in a limbo of longing to belong. Digital collage is used as an accessible approach to visually convey this complex experience, in this case extracting a dancer performing acrobatics from a 19th-century Qajar dynasty Iranian oil painting & adding them to a photo taken at University of Waterloo campus’ PAS building.

This installation was produced by the Downtown Kitchener BIA & curated by Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery for the DTK Art Walk.

 Image by Vincent Marcone

IN THE KEEP OF CHANGE by My Pet Skeleton

My Pet Skeleton is the creative pseudonym of Juno- & Emmy-award-winning graphic artist Vincent Marcone, who blends digital & physical techniques. Vincent developed this long, cyclical mural for the front façade of 44 Gaukel Creative Workspace to allude to the facility’s many functions, faces & seasons. Students, entrepreneurs, scientists & artists have all used this space, but the constant that binds their experiences here is a spirit of creation. Three animals, native to the area, were chosen to symbolize the successful ingredients that live within 44G. Each animal flourishes, ages, dies & is born again to illustrate the many roles of this transformative space.

44 & CORRIDOR CEILING by Stephanie Scott

Stephanie was commissioned to make these two large artworks inside 44G’s first floor after it was renovated to create another dozen tenant spaces in 2019. She describes her intent:

“The corridor which runs the length of the space is a fascinating feature. I wanted to create a design that would evolve as people walked from one end of the corridor to the other. I came up with a simple line graphic which repeats down the hallway, gradually changing colour from light yellow to deep purple.”

“The geometric shape of the numbers echoes the lines on the corridor ceiling. The colour palette also includes colours from the ceiling mural, as well as the bright orange from the 44 Gaukel logo. To contrast the crisp lines of the 44, I created a paint swirl pattern fill, which also references the creative process and artistic activities taking place in this space. The piece has a bonus interactive component: when viewed with the Artivive app (artivive.com), the pattern comes to life and the colours start swirling together.”

 Image by John Spaulding

ZHASHAGI IN BLOOM by Alanah Jewell & Luke Swinson

Herons, or zhashagis in Anishinaabemowin, are a recurring subject in Luke’s work. He collaborated with Alanah on this elevator door artwork in spring 2020 & they each painted one of the murals shown below in spring 2021.

Originally created for a T-shirt collaboration with Good Company Productions, Alanah later proposed making a wall-sized version. “At the heart of music is our connection to the land,” Alanah explains. “With each beat of the drum, we are reminded of our First Mother’s heartbeat: its strength, its power & its unconditional love. Music is a way to feed our spirits & the music that surrounds us has been alive forever: you just need to listen.”

Alanah Astehtsi Otsistohkwa (Morningstar) Jewell is a mixed French-First Nations artist. She is Bear Clan from Oneida Nation of the Thames, grew up off-reserve & currently lives in Kitchener. Alanah is an illustrator, painter & muralist who also organizes local Indigenous art markets.

Luke Swinson is a visual artist with Anishinaabe roots from Kitchener and a member of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. He seeks to promote cultural education & preservation through his art projects, which reflect his desire to better understand & reclaim his Indigenous culture.

UNTITLED (2016) by Andrew Thom

44 Gaukel project partner Accelerator Centre commissioned Andrew to create these murals to add splashes of inspiring shape & colour to the facility’s 2nd-floor reception area – plus a small dose of subversive vibe to the office spaces upstairs.

 Image by John Spaulding

UNTITLED (2021) by Tori Dawn

Good Company Productions commissioned this eye-popping piece to adorn the outside of their space at 44G in early 2021. Tori creates murals, paintings, illustrations, linoleum prints & other visual art with various tools & colours. They also make songs as Blankie using vocals, synths & other weird & lovely musicians.