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Black artist in Vancouver harassed while painting mural

Last Updated Aug 8, 2020 at 4:02 pm PDT


A Black artist taking part in the Vancouver Mural Festival says the same man harassed her twice while she was working

Pearl Low has been working on a mural in an alleyway in the West End

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — An Oscar-winning artist says she was harassed more than once by a man while she was painting a mural in Vancouver.

Pearl Low has been painting something to portray “Black Joy” in an alleyway behind Davie Street as part of the Vancouver Mural Festival.

While working this week, Low says someone living in the area has harassed twice, and one encounter left her in tears.

“I was approached by this white man about how I need to stop using my lifts because he has work the next day at 4:00 a.m. he needs to get up and he’s going to bed now.”

Low says the man approached her around 8:00 p.m. so she told the man she will be done her work before 9:00 p.m. But the man came back with the same complaint the next day.

“I said, Look, I’m just the artist I’m just contracted to do this wall. I would recommend you bring it up with the Vancouver Mural Festival folks.”

Low then turned around and continued to finish her work. That’s when she heard the man walk away and curse at her.

“The main thing that I found really interesting was that out of all the times he chose to bring up this issue was when I was alone.”

According to Low, the festival has told her that someone will always be with her while she paints so that she won’t be alone in case the man or anyone else approaches her aggressively.

Later, Low took to Twitter to share her experience and received hundreds of comments from people sharing similar stories of women experiencing harassment but not being believed.

“I think there are many layers to this experience that intersect for a lot of people,” she says. “Whether you’re a woman, whether you’re a black woman, there’s a lot of people who can relate to this. So I think that also kind of caught fire when they read the message.”

Low tells CityNews she hopes sharing her experiences with “microaggressions and full-on aggressions” will help people to learn.

Low’s was the story artist for the film Hair Love, which recently won an Oscar.