If you’ve walked down Stephen Ave in the past few weeks, no matter what time of day, chances are you’ve seen Mandy Stobo working on her next project. Famous for her Bad Portraits, Stobo has been tasked with essentially building Calgary’s first ever Walk of Fame. But don’t go looking for famous hand prints or symbolic stars. Instead, Calgary’s Walk of Fame will consist of Bad Portraits on the tree grates that line the famous pedestrian street.Earlier today, I went to go see what exactly Mandy was up to, and here’s what I discovered:

–By the time Mandy is done, there will be 55 grates painted with the faces of famous Calgarians. 44 more will be painted next summer.

–Mandy was approached by the Downtown Calgary Association and Stephen Ave to do the project.

–Each grate takes about six hours to complete.

–Before painting, Stobo had to clean each and every grate.

–The grates include everyone from Mayor Nenshi, to Buckshot, Ernest Manning and comic super star Todd McFarlane. Tommy Chong and Lanny Mcdonald are also featured. (Click here to see all of the completed grates so far.)

–The grates will hopefully last up to ten years.

–Since starting Bad Portraits last year, Stobo has painted more than 4,600 portraits.

–All of the grates are covered in white primer. The portraits are then sketched before the final painting.

–The supplies for the entire project are carried in a small briefcase.

–The grand-opening for the Walk of Fame will take place Sept. 20 at noon on Stephen Avenue.


Mike Morrison


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