"Giving Wings to the Dream", 1995
Calgary Urban Projects Society, Calgary AB
25' x 125'
An iconic Calgary landmark and motivational image, this mural was designed for Calgary Urban Projects Society (CUPS) to transform the old Hotel they had bought into a site where people experiencing homelessness could accomplish positive outcomes and create social change. Instead of a ‘shock’ solution - portraits that stereotype urban homelessness and societal marginalization - Doug opted for a broader, more positive solution that is deliberating engaging to a wider audience. The calming blue sky is the backdrop for the bird and the hands, which are made to look like everyman's hands - universal and familiar.
For people who are living with the adversity of poverty, and the challenges of trauma, this image was conceived back in 1995 as a symbol of hope. And for those who have something to give, the artwork continues to share an empowering message today: release that gift to someone who needs it. The direction of the giving and the gift can go either way, and the exchange is something we can all take hope from: a dream for a brighter future.