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Park the paintings here

Greyhound Bus depot manager creates unusual art space by livening up his waiting room



On any given day, dozens of people will come through the North Garibaldi Greyhound bus depot — either on their way to Whistler or Vancouver, or getting off the southbound bus in Squamish in order to hit the stores.

Art-friendly manager Justin Baynton decided to take advantage of this traffic after painting the scuffed white walls of the depot's waiting area in February.

"I've always liked art. It's a way to have local artists, some of whom are already popular, to do it for fun, to get some stuff up and get some exposure," Baynton explains.

"And it livens up the place like you wouldn't believe. I've been working here since 2009, and it's difficult to get funding to do renovations to a building that has been here for years, so I decided to liven up the walls."

Baynton isn't an artist; he's a musician who carries his art collection in the form of a body full of tattoos.

"I'm not an artist in terms of painting and photography, but I always liked it. I started getting tattooed when I was 17, because it is a great form of expression or to tell stories," he says.

"It's awesome to see people's different interpretations of how to let it out. I'm going to go out of my way to give people exposure, and they are giving me art for a large space."

The depot currently has eight artists on show, with all works available for sale (with the artist keeping 100 per cent of the sale). Prices range from around $100 to $600.

The works — including pieces by Holly Pearce and Vanessa Acuto — include floral paintings, textile art, abstract photography and canvasses, and pet paintings.

"If I was putting up art that means a lot to me, it would be horror movie posters and weird stuff," Baynton laughs.

"But what we've got here is a lot better for families and others coming through."

Baynton hopes the work of several extreme sports photographers will adorn the walls shortly.

He understands that travellers aren't coming to the depot with hundreds of dollars to spend on art in a 15-minute layover, but hopes to sell the depot's first piece soon.

"There have been a lot of questions about the works and the artists, so I've started putting up websites and Instagram information," he says.

He recommends the idea of art going up in unusual places, such as businesses and public spaces. He found his artists by placing messages in public pages on Facebook.

"We live in a cool space and there will be tons of people coming through. We have four buses a day going up and four buses a day going down, with up to 50 people on each. That's quite a few people," Baynton says.

"It's the same for busy businesses. If you've got bare walls, send a message.

"The response was pretty overwhelming, I got tons of messages."

The inspiration came to Baynton from his own travels, seeing artwork from up for sale at gas stations between the coast and Edmonton, where he is from.

"It was the same kind of scenario and I thought it was super cool. You'd go in and see funky little things. And also when you go south to Oregon and San Francisco — places that look dumpy from the outside, but have different kinds of painted surfboards," he says.

Other unusual art stops

A mainstay of coffee shop walls, there are many places to find art in the Sea to Sky region, including:

• Samurai Sushi, Whistler

• Sushi Village, Whistler

• Moguls Coffee Shop, Whistler

• Delish, Whistler

• Mount Currie Coffee Company, Whistler and Pemberton

• Scandinave Spa, Whistler

• Blackbird Bakery, Pemberton

• Coffee Co., Pemberton

• Zephyr Cafe, Squamish

• Squamish Public Library

And every fall, Arts Whistler runs the Whistler ArtWalk, with many more businesses showing the works of local artists over three months. This year, ArtWalk starts in early September.