Ola Volo Reclaims Public Spaces Through Her Murals

Ola Volo’s murals are a way of reclaiming the city – transforming blank walls into accessible public art. ”Making work accessible: that’s why I love illustration,” the Kazakh-Canadian artist once stated in an interview with The Georgia Straight. “I’m able to communicate a message that can be read without language barriers. And in some ways I think public art can be responsible for that too.”

Her murals display themes from Eastern European folk art with a focus on pattern and narrative. Animals, people, architecture, and nature are seen blended together seamlessly across buildings and walls, creating fantasy scenes that are rich with symbolism.

Volo’s work includes neighborhood murals and corporate commissioned work for a wide range of international clients including Starbucks, Louis Vuitton, Lululemon, Simons, and Honda. She’s also known for creating the largest mural in Canada painted by a woman in Montreal’s Mile End neighborhood.

“My perspective is murals can bring energy to a space,” she says. “It wasn’t till I got the opportunity to do a mural that I got to transform a space, and I got hooked! I loved that it was an idea that could be interpreted and reinterpreted every day by people.”

Prepare to get hooked.