Skip to content

New downtown mural represents Barrie's 'growing diversity'

Mural at Shak's World created by Clandestinos Art

There’s more to explore downtown, with the addition of a vibrant new mural created by the artistic duo, Clandestinos Art.

Brought to the neighbourhood by the Downtown Barrie BIA, the mural shines from the side of Shak’s World Community Centre, facing Kempenfelt Bay.

Located at 59 Maple Ave., Shak’s World welcomes Simcoe County youth between ages seven and 17 to participate in a wide variety of drop-in programming including art, dance, cooking, yoga, chess and basketball training. Through mentorship, sport and community engagement, Shak’s World encourages a positive and stable environment for youth to find and take direction in their lives.

Individually known as Bruno Smoky and Shalak Attack, together the Clandestinos have created murals around the world. After adding a third Clandestino to their crew — their daughter, Violeta — they moved to Barrie to raise their family, where they continue to create art locally and internationally. Their newest mural, titled Home, is a visual narrative that tells of a colourful and diverse place to live in harmony with our surrounding nature.

The mural was inspired by conversations with several community members, including Shak, her staff, and the Barrie Native Friendship Centre among others.

The Clandestinos explain, “The maple tree stands at the heart of the mural, the sun shines light through its branches illuminating the strength of the community and highlights the maple tree as a historical symbol for the First Nations of the area. The little girl blows the seeds of the flower, making a wish and a whimsical blast of snowflakes representing winter. Spring, summer and fall are also present, telling of the cycles of nature and time.

“The man looking to the right is a nod to Shak’s World and the activities going on inside. He’s a sports player wearing a jersey and also a balance to the feminine and masculine energies of the piece. The bees are working away gathering pollen, an important symbol for Barrie as a Bee City, which encourages pollinator conservation in the area.

“The eagle and condor are a nod to an ancient prophecy that represents the Indigenous peoples of the Americas reunited in connection to the Earth, which signals a time of reconciliation, reunification, and healing of the land and its peoples. In the heart of the condor is the Andes, the backbone that unites both South and North America, which turns into the Rocky Mountains. It also represents migration and the diverse people here on this land.

“The tobacco flower is also present. A listening activator of all creation, it listens to prayers and is a gift, as shared by members of the Barrie Native Friendship Centre. Water is also an important symbol for Barrie and the surrounding area represented on the left side of the panel. We hope that through this colourful and harmonious composition we can represent the diversity and character of this amazing city and brighten up the downtown area.”

The mural highlights the wonderful things Shak’s World does for our community. It adds beauty and positivity to downtown and uplifts and inspires anyone walking by.

The mural has received great positive feedback from residents and businesses nearby, including Shak’s World founder Shak Edwards.

“We are thrilled to have this mural on our facility as a highlight to our community and its growing diversity,” says Shak. “When creating this mural, we really tried to encompass all that downtown Barrie has to offer. I think the artists did a fantastic job with bringing this piece to life.”

Take some time and experience the new mural, and be sure to tag @downtownbarrie if you grab a picture.