About Us

WE ARE HUMANITY IN ART

Humanity In Art is the artistic partnership of Saskatchewan-born, Lys Glassford (they/them) and BC local, Lauren Semple (she/they). With a driving love and passion for big art, urban rehabilitation, and community, these queer public art advocates have been rehabilitating the blank walls of the central island for the past several years.

Humanity In Art was founded by Lys, a Nanaimo street artist, in 2013 and quickly became known for aerosol art, colourful murals, and local community improvement projects.

In 2017, Humanity In Art relaunched as a new partnership with Lauren, an artist and community advocate. Together they founded Humanity in Community Foundation dedicated to rehabilitating and adorning urban spaces with large-scale murals and public art in support of street artists and vibrant communities.

In 2018 this dynamic duo tackled the old A&B Sound building in downtown Nanaimo and transformed this unloved and unused eyesore into the Urban Art Gallery and Open Art Wall. In 2020, as the Artistic Director and Festival Producer, they brought Nanaimo’s first mural festival to life. Hub City Walls brought three new murals to the Arts District and an exciting new event to Vancouver Island.

Above and Beyond Award presented to Lys Glassford and Lauren Semple by the City of Nanaimo 2018
Lys Glassford and Lauren Semple smiling in front of work in progess.

AWARDS + RECOGNITION

In 2016 Lys Glassford received the ‘Emerging Cultural Leader’  award and designation from the City of Nanaimo as part of the annual Culture and Heritage Awards.

At the 2018 City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Awards, Lys Glassford and Lauren Semple received a special recognition award, ‘Above and Beyond,’ for their work with Humanity In Community on the A&B Sound Building rehabilitation project: the ‘Urban Art Gallery.’

MEET OUR TEAM

LIFE’S TOO SHORT FOR BLANK WALLS AND WHITE SPACE