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St. Paul’s Foundation unveils giant, donation-powered AR mural

April 19th, 2021
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Downtown Vancouver is home to a new giant, AR-activated photo-mosaic made up of nearly two thousand micro-donation photos. Pixel Moments is a public art piece created to raise awareness and funds for mental health resources across B.C., commissioned by St. Paul’s Foundation Future Leaders committee. Since launching the campaign in February, Pixel Moments has raised $298,416 through donations, sponsorship and in-kind support for St. Paul’s Hospital.

The volunteer committee opened the call for photo submissions earlier this year and within a two-month period, they received 1,834 unique pixels to create the intricate mosaic effect for the mural that was commissioned to local artist Andrea Wan.

Andrea is a Hong Kong-born Canadian Visual Artist and Illustrator. She spent the last 8 years living in Berlin and travelling around the globe after she finished her studies in Vancouver and Denmark. Andrea sees her practice as a container in which she can allow whatever to come through in her stream of consciousness. Often the otherworldly images are reminiscent of her dreams, fears and thoughts buried within or shared among the collective.

“I wanted to create an art piece that shines a light on mental health during these times of isolation,” said Andrea Wan. “While we are taking care of our physical health, I think it’s also as important to take care of our mental health. A simple gesture of care, a genuine conversation, even a smile or eye contact goes a long way in reassuring each other that we are not alone.“

The artwork is live and can be viewed at Granville and West Georgia Streets (above London Drugs) throughout the Spring. The mural (80 feet by 33.5 feet) has an augmented reality (AR) feature. When scanned with a smartphone, components of the art piece will be animated, bringing another engaging element to the experience.

“This project has shown us that like the mosaic art piece, people and organizations within our community can have greater impact when they come together,” said Matt Ilich, a member of the St. Paul’s Future Leaders committee. “We’ve seen how donations as small as $5 can have a compound effect and we’re thrilled that the community has rallied behind this initiative.”

St. Paul’s Future Leaders are an engaged committee of young professionals who commit their time to raising awareness and funds for St. Paul’s Foundation. Since inception in 2014, the committee has helped raise more than $1M for St. Paul’s Hospital. For more information, visit helpstpauls.com/future-leaders

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