Giant Granville Island artwork counting on crowdfunding to complete

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The Province | By CHERYL CHAN | Sep 11, 2014

Granville island muralsThe colourful giants painted on six industrial silos on Vancouver’s Granville Island have been eliciting ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ since the artwork’s recent unveiling, but the campaign to raise funds to pay the bill still has more than halfway to go to reach its target.

The Indiegogo campaign for the Vancouver Biennale work by Brazilian street artists OSGEMEOS has raised more than $62,000 since it was launched Aug. 7.

It has surpassed its posted goal of $20,000, but with less than two weeks to go, it is still short its $125,000 target.

“If we have $5 for every ‘like,’ tweet and smile, we’d make our goal,” said marketing director Miriam Blume, saying the massive mural is already a success, gaining plenty of social media buzz and worldwide attention.

This is the first time the non-profit charity, which has introduced public artworks such as the much-loved A-maze-ing Laughter sculptures on English Bay, has turned to crowdfunding, enabling anyone to become a patron of the arts for as little as $5.

Most of the Biennale’s installations cost around $50,000, but organizers knew that transforming six 23-metre-tall concrete silos into a contemporary masterpiece would be a larger undertaking.

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“This was going to be an aggressive, large-scale project,” said Blume. “We knew right then that the budget would be large, and that’s when we decided to go to crowdsourcing.”

The site, located at the Ocean Concrete plant on Granville Island, was chosen by artists and twins Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo (“Os Gemeos” is Portuguese for the twins) during a scouting expedition last winter.

It was a difficult search because of Vancouver’s penchant for glass buildings, but when the twins spotted the industrial silos overlooking False Creek they immediately knew they had their canvas.

“They loved the size and shape of it, and it’s right in the heart of the city,” said Blume.

The Giants are OSGEMEOS’ largest work, and their first in Canada. While there are other Giants around the world, Vancouver’s is the only one that spans 360 degrees.

OSGEMEOS donated a month’s work to the project, and Ocean Concrete offered the silos at no charge.

The $125,000 costs includes airfare and hotel for the OSGEMEOS team, labour costs, lift equipment rentals, and 1,400 cans of spray paints. An additional $20,000 is also needed for a protective coating on the work.

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