Mural artists flocking to Chatham for Can Jam

From left, Shannon Young, Can Jam volunteer co-ordinator; Sarah Steele, event organizer and artist; and Sarah Robbins, artist, are excited for the CK Can Jam event.

A big splash of colour is coming to Chatham-Kent.

That’s thanks to CK Can Jam ’24 – a unique festival that will see 13 artists from across the globe – descend on downtown Chatham to use their skills to create a host of bright murals in the city’s core.

Running from July 15 to 20th, artists will use a wide variety of paint mediums, but aerosol paint cans will be the main tools, leading to the name Can Jam. And the public is invited to come watch.

According to a media release from the fledgling initiative, the idea was sparked by event organizer Sarah Tucker-Steele, who took part in a similar event in Windsor.

It prompted the Dresden-based artist to found the local Can Jam fest.

“It was amazing to work with so many great artists that have had their work featured in countries like Spain, China, Venezuela, Cuba and across the globe,” Tucker-Steele said in a media release. “The event brought us together as artists. The collaborative effort and opportunity to learn and share different techniques was priceless.”

Organizers say everyone is welcome to come and watch the artists in action as they use vertical walls up to 60 feet high as a canvas. Some of the artists will be working in pairs.

Volunteers are needed for the event and there are also opportunities for local residents or businesses to sponsor a mural.

Impact Graphics owner Rob Shepanowski is one of the sponsors and he’s stoked about the project.

“We’re excited to be part of this; these murals are huge and will be visible for years,” Shepanowski said, calling a mural a “great return on investment.”

He compared the murals to billboards, noting the cost of a mural is equivalent to renting a billboard for one to two months at a cost of up to $2,000.

Tucker-Steele said that after the paint dries and artists head to their gig, downtown Chatham will be left with a “beautiful gift.

“We are thankful to the groups, individual residents and businesses who believe in CK Can Jam as much as we do,” she said. “We still have a bit more to go in regards to finding sponsors, as every little bit helps.”

A CK Can Jam wrap-up party will be held at Sons of Kent Brewery from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. that will provide an opportunity for the public to meet the artists and there will be a live interactive art experience for the public to experience as well.

Information on the various artists and locations can be found online at

Can Jam artist Sarah Robbins will be on hand for this year’s CK Can Jam.


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