Nothing bad about these “grate portraits”

Tree grates on Stephen Avenue in downtown Calgary have turned into the red carpet for local celebrities.

Commissioned by the Calgary Downtown Association, local artist Mandy Stobo  has created the likeness of famous Calgarians in her “bad portrait” style – a mix of acrylic paint, ink, Sharpie paint pens, and bright colours.

The unique art pieces are part of the ‘Walk of Fame’ initiative.

As noted in a Maclean’s Magazine article in 2011, Stobo’s “Bad Portraits” took off when she emailed her “bad” renditions of celebrities, including George Stroumboulopoulos and Conan O’Brien, to their Twitter accounts.

“It is Calgary’s first Walk of Fame to highlight the rad that has come from our city – and there is so much rad!” Stobo said.

The Walk of Fame stretches from First Street S.E. to Third Street S.W. and features four categories – political, historical, pop culture and business.

Artistic renditions of Jann Arden, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, hockey star Jarome Iginla, and others are part of the collection.

For more information about the Walk of Fame, visit

Grate Portrait of recongized sports voice Joe Carbury, on 1 Street SW and 2 Street SW. —CASEY KNOLL, The Press


About Casey Knoll 8 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Casey Knoll worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2012-2013 academic year.