OWN IT 2018


Stephanie Boutari  |  @stephboutari

Stephanie Boutari sitting in front of her mural in Goudies Lane  

Where are your installations downtown?

Settlement, Goudies Lane, Abe Erb, Smile.io, and there's one inside Vidyard that I did with my husband, Adam Schwartzentruber.  

Why do you enjoy working downtown?

Everyone here is receptive to artwork, and so enthusiastic about it. There's a thirst for art. Because Kitchener-Waterloo has a tech-hub, a lot of the people have innovative attitudes. They're more forward-thinking and progressive, and always interested in new projects. 


Where did you get your inspiration for the mural in Goudies Lane?

A lot of it comes from architecture; that was my background. I really wanted to create something that had a three-dimensional quality to it. When I'm doing murals I like to think that I'm breaking open the wall and creating visual depth. It was a small area to work with, and I wanted to create something eye-catching and bold.


Why do you think public art is important?

It encourages people to engage with their environment. Art can inspire creativity or social interactions. Art in the public realm makes places more vibrant and lively, and more pedestrian-friendly by encouraging people to wander around. 


How do you think public art can help downtown move forward with its growth? 

It helps make places more meaningful and engaging. Art helps with creating landmarks. In a business, it can help showcase a brand. It can also show the artist's imagination and create a unique atmosphere. It's about creating awe and wonder. 


If you could do one project downtown, what would it be?

One of my dreams would be to design art for a multi-building fa├žade. Whether it's painting onto the building, or integrating art directly into the architecture, like the University of Waterloo's pharmacy building. I would love to be involved with something of that scale.


How would you like to see people interact with your art?

I would like them to engage with it. Some people enjoy being around it because it inspires creativity, or they simply use it as a backdrop for photographs. I love the reactions from kids -- they're so perceptive, especially to bright colours -- it makes them want to jump and dance. If someone notices my art and pauses even for a moment, that's what makes me happy. 


Elizabeth Dicesare  |  @elizadice

Photography: Nadine Phillips  |  saranad.ca   +  Adam Schwartzentruber


Add your own photo to the #GoudiesLane photo gallery! 


Stephanie getting ready to paint a mural



Stephanie's mural inside Abe Erb



Stephanie selecting spray paint inside of her studio



close up of Stephanie's mural down Goudies Lane



photos of people posed in front of various Goudies Lane murals