Urban Wallpaper



The Downtown BIZ (BIZ) was seeking design submissions from creators who are interested in shifting perceptions and transforming vacant windows and construction sites in the downtown. Selected creators (or teams) will receive $800 each for their winning artwork to be displayed as part of the first Urban Wallpaper initiative in downtown Winnipeg. The competition is open to all those in arts related disciplines, such as illustrators, photographers, graphic artists, architects, painters, sketchers, designers, etc. Up to three pieces of artwork will be chosen by a selection committee. The competition deadline was December 30, 2015. Winning designs were annouced in August 2016 with a press conference and guided walking tour of the five initial Urban Wallpaper locations.


As part of an ongoing strategy to change public perceptions related to downtown cleanliness, the Downtown BIZ, in partnership with the business community, will be integrating jury selected printed artwork in uninviting vacant windows, on temporary protective structures at construction sites (such as hoarding and fences), as well as other empty spaces located within the downtown. The objectives are to transform and enliven vacant areas, add to the quality of the neighbourhood and improve the visual landscape of the downtown area. By making the project a contest, it enables the direct involvement of the community to express their ideas and creativity for downtown Winnipeg.


Printed artwork, resulting from the Urban Wallpaper competition, will be installed throughout downtown Winnipeg as opportunities arise, and for a time period as needed, to cover vacant windows and construction site barriers. Thank you to SRS Signs & Services for helping sponsor the Urban Wallpaper initiative. A special thank you to the property owners Public Capital Company, Capital Commercial Real Estate Services, and Portage Place Shopping Centre, for their support on providing venues for the first five locations for the Urban Wallpaper.

Click to view the map of 2016 locations here.

For more information about the context, submission process, artwork guidelines, and application please view the supporting document here.


Jesse Warkentin

Jesse Warketin Urban Wallpaper

Jesse is a musician and a recent graduate of Red River College’s Advanced Graphic Design program. His work is fueled by his love for analogue film, ink, screen-printing and rock & roll red-green colour-blindness.

His Urban Wallpaper design uses various food items as its main imagery. With the use of bright colours, moving textures and unorthodox placement, his artwork aims to immediately engage passersby. Jesse was inspired by downtown Winnipeg’s rich food history of food stands, ice cream parlours, bakeries and delis, which he feels have always served to create a strong sense of community and bringing people together.


Kyong-Mi Hong

kyoungmi hong urban wallpaperA Korean-born space and visual designer, Kyongmi studied fashion design at university in Korea. Kyongmi’s Urban Wallpaper design was inspired by the ever-changing image of the jungle, and evokes a feeling of three-dimensional exoticism.

Isabelle Kilimnik

isabelle kilimnik urban wallpaperIsabelle is a Graphic Designer and recent graduate of the Advanced Graphic Design program at Red River College. She is enjoys working with mediums such as ink, oil paints, and watercolour, and focussing her personal work on still life, nature, and studies of the city.

Her Urban Wallpaper design, entitled ‘Manitoba Birds’, features the chickadee, blue jay, pheasant, and of course the Canada Goose. The concept was to have birds that are common in Canadian and Manitoban culture but aren’t commonly found downtown. Inspired by bright colours of the Manitoba sunsets and graphic illustration, the wallpaper will hopefully bring a bit out colour and enjoyment into the day of those walking around downtown, or even on their way to work.


urban wallpaper sponsors