Two German visitors passed through Prince George this week on their quest to create art that crosses a continent and combines cultures.
Traveling the Panamericana, a historical road connecting all countries on the continent, engages people of all countries along the route to paint a common picture, Mariana Steiner explained.
The project began in May 2012 and ends in July 2014, added Michael Schffer. The pair are from Regensburg, Germany.
"Each individual becomes part of the work of art and contributes to international understanding," said Steiner. "The complete work will be a reflection of the diversity of the people of the American Continent."
The idea is to have the canvas unrolled at the blank end and rolled up to cover the art on the other end, so only a small piece of the previous work can be seen by the artist creating on his section of the canvas.
"I think it's so wonderful to have Mariana and Michael here," said Julia Whittaker, College of New Caledonia art instructor and contributing artist. "Art is an international language and even if their English wasn't so great... we could still do this because art crosses borders."
Steiner and Schffer are traveling by customized pick up camper that is self contained with a diesel tank enabling them to travel about 2,200 kilometres per tank, as well having a 200-litre water tank and a solar panel on top.
"When we come into a town or village I will be hanging out the window taking photos while the people watching us are taking photos of the truck," laughed Steiner.
The art on the canvas comes in many forms and has been done in many ways. In Germany mostly groups of artists would collaborate on their work where in Canada the pair of adventurers found individual artists would create a piece themselves. At least that was the case in five out of six panels already created. There was a First Nations piece created by a father, son and son's girlfriend but this is only the beginning of the tour. It might change along the way.
There's a few decisions still to be made about the finished product. Steiner thinks they might donate the artwork to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a fundraiser and perhaps display it at a gallery in Regensburg.