Posts Tagged ‘community’

This post is about community involvement and the murals that result.  They aren’t great art and they weren’t meant to be.  They are about the stories we tell about ourselves and our communities.  They brighten our public spaces and enrich our neighbourhoods.

The first is a series of murals painted by Gledhill Public School students. There are murals by the graduating classes of 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 in a lane near the school.

Part of a mural in an alley painted by students from Gledhill Public school, graduating class of 2008, black silhouettes under tree branches, hand prints too

Part of a mural in an alley painted by students from Gledhill Public school, graduating class of 2009, black silhouette of the Toronto skyline with big colourful footprints, some roughly drawn people too , an airplane flies overhead

Part of a mural in an alley painted by students from Gledhill Public school, graduating class of 2009, black silhouette of the Toronto skyline with big colourful footprints, some roughly drawn people too

Part of a mural in an alley painted by students from Gledhill Public school, graduating class of 2010. A blue semi-circle

Part of a mural in an alley painted by students from Gledhill Public school, graduating class of 2011. 2011 in large numbers across the bottom with grey silhouettes of people, brightly coloured squares with faces across the top

Part of a mural in an alley painted by students from Gledhill Public school, graduating class of 2011. 2011 in large numbers across the bottom with grey silhouettes of people, brightly coloured squares with faces across the top

Just to the east, Woodbine subway station is undergoing much needed renovations and expansion.  Some of the hoardings around the construction site have been covered with three murals.   They were painted by:  Haley G., Sasha K.S., Francis H., Melika W., Tristan C., Savannah P., Adrina P. and Anna-Lisa A as well as Jim Bravo and Andrenne Finnikin as part of the ‘City on the Move, Young Artists in Transit’ mural project.

Looking across a street to a construction site around which a fence has been erected. There are three murals painted on the hoardings.

The first mural is a juxtaposition of past and present, people playing beside the creek. The creek, trees, and birds are all the same.  There is now a city in the distance and clothing we wear has changed, but we still enjoy the outdoors like our ancestors did.

1910 to 2013, mural of past and present along the creek. Kids playing on either side, the past on the left, the present on the right, bird watching, standing in the grass,

Above ground, a fair, an amusement on a summer day.   Below ground, the subway is being built.

mural depicting people at a fair. A child is licking a giant round lollipop, a girl is holding a doll, a ferris wheel is in the background.

And last, woodpeckers in the trees as well as a poem by George Elliott Clarke who was the Poet Laureate of Toronto 2012-15.  It describes the murals and is transcribed below.

mural painted on TTC construction hoardings, trees and birch trees with no leaves on them, with a couple of woodpeckers

The poem on the last mural:

Seeing Beauty, at Woodbine
 
Citizens, let’s pasture ourselves in parks
And gardens, so skyscrapers mingle with trees,
And we recover Native faith, Settler
Hope, to savour birds’ trills and swoops, fording
Creek and times past, to touch us, where we stand.
 
Once was pleasure in a street fair – ice cream
And lollipop, but also in strolling
Or rolling down to work, shirt-sleeves rolled up,
Dawn light unfolding, That’s what’s visible.
(Underground, a steel vein branches, roots, and throbs.)
 
Torrential leaves stacked up towers, now fallen,
Last Fall, Birds tap into the standing logs
Winter planted.  Spring rain well refreshes
The city.  Now, young artists tap dreams –
Drafting Beauty – to which all say, “Bravo!”
 
by George Elliott Clarke

Today’s blog post comes from slightly farther afield than I usually venture.   I went northwest to the Jane and Finch area.  As I drove north on Jane street, I spotted some eye-catching paintings on the walls of the Driftwood Community and Recreation Centre.

below: ‘Unique’, a vibrant heart painted by Girls Club

A mural of a large multicoloured heart with peace symbols in circles floating around it. Words: by Girls Club 2013, 'unique'

below: ‘Rooted’ trees by Lil Bruxas and part of ‘United Freedom’ on the back wall

murals on three walls at the Driftwood Community Centre, two trees and a large face

below: ‘United Freedom’ by Essencia

A brightly coloured mural on a brick wall. A large oval face with music symbols on the left and butterflies on the right. Called united freedom and painted by essencia.

part of a mural on a brick wall, multicolour butterflies

below: A blackburn traffic signal box sits on that corner.  Straight from the jungle.

A metal box on a street corner, a leopard by street artist blackburn

close up of street art painting of a greenish grey leopard with blue eyes, nose and mouth

A little father south there are a couple of high rise apartment buildings on the northeast corner of Jane and Finch.   Each has a mural painted around one of the entrances to the building.

below:  ‘Be Inspired, Love Yourself, Educate Others’ by the BeLovEd movement,
painted by Shalak Attack and Fiya Bruxas, 2011.

mural painted on a wall of an apartment building at Jane and Finch titled 'Beloved', painted by Shalak and Fiya Bruxa in 2011. People doing various things.

Part of a mural

part of a mural by Shalak and Fiya Bruxa

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part of a mural by Shalak and Fiya Bruxa

part of a mural by Shalak and Fiya Bruxa, a young woman holding a new born baby in her hand.

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below: ‘Strong Women, Strong Community’ also by the BeLovEd Movement surrounds a doorway.  Although there is a sidewalk that leads directly to the corner of Jane and Finch, no one was using this entrance.  I was alone when I walked around this building from the parking lot by the main door.

mural across the lower level of a high rise building, surrounding an entranceway

part of a mural on the lower floor of a grey brick apartment building, women, one holding flowers, one resting her head on her hand, one sitting on the grass.

Strong Women, Strong Community are the words written on a mural, people painted on a wall

blog_mural_finch_family

I drove the back streets to Yorkdale yesterday.  It’s not something that I normally do; in fact I can’t remember the last time I drove those streets.   But I’m glad I did because I found another mural painted on an underpass.  Four sections of concrete wall,  four words in bright colours – Love, Home, Limitless, Heights.

part of a mural on an underpass. There are four parts to the mural and each part is word painted in large capital letters in many colours - the word love, actually it is love or love

Home – just to the right of the word ‘home’ was a large heart that unfortunately I missed when I took the next photo.  There was also a sign describing the story behind the mural.

This community mural was painted by youth from the neighbourhood, Rocco Ursino, Salim Yislam, Michelle Collin, Jaden Beckford, Tamika Smart, and Hassan Mohamed under the mentorship of Sean Martindale and Joshua Barndt.  Apparently it was inspired by a popular local expression “Love or Love” and tries to convey compassion, hopefulness and determination.  Needed sentiments as this neighbourhood undergoes major changes and revitalization.

part of a mural on an underpass. There are four parts to the mural and each part is word painted in large capital letters in many colours - the word home

This 2012 project was produced by Art Starts in partnership with Toronto Community Housing and office of councillor Josh Colle. Funding was provided by StreetARToronto and TCH.

part of a mural on an underpass. There are four parts to the mural and each part is word painted in large capital letters in many colours - the word limitless

The mural is on Ranee Avenue as it passes under the Allen Expressway.  It is also right by the south entrance to Yorkdale subway station.

part of a mural on an underpass. There are four parts to the mural and each part is word painted in large capital letters in many colours - the word heights, with the south end of Yorkdale subway station in the picture

When I parked my car I saw this telephone pole – Shoot for the stars.  Great advice!

Telephone pole with the bottom metre and a half painted blue with some yellow stars and the words Shoot for the stars.

And because one thing  always leads to another, I was parked on Flemington Road beside this – the remains of Zachary Court.

A small street with some mature trees growing beside it. There are a few rowhouses but the windows and doors are all boarded up.

The street is fenced off and the houses are empty.  Some of the windows are missing but most are boarded up.  This must be the neighbourhood redevelopment referred to in the description of the mural, or at least part of it.

rowhouses boarded up and fenced off in preparation for demolition

An old sign for community notices that is now empty because the area is fenced off for demolition

The end house in a row house complex has been started to be demolished.

There was another telephone pole with a happy picture painted on it but looking a little worn.

A telephone pole that has been painted on the bottom few feet. A bright blue sky with a cloud and a few birds flying, green grass and a couple of yellow flowers standing tall

There are two development proposal signs posted on Ranee Avenue that pertain to this area.  One of them is for a seven unit, three storey townhouse development on Ranee Avenue itself.  The other is for the demolition and replacement of 233 social housing units as well as the construction of 824 market value units serviced by a new public street.  The latter development involves a number of streets besides Zachary Court on both sides of the Allen Expressway (Zachary Court backs onto the west side of the Allen).

 

4th annual Yogathon,
Rise for a Cause – 108 Sun Salutations

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - looking toward the stage where the leaders are, arms stretched upwards, YOnge Dundas Square in Toronto

The event started with some warm-ups, some laughter yoga and some Bollywood style dance moves.

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - a young man in a pink turban, as well as some other people, laughing as they warm up to the yogathon while doing some laughter yoga

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, warming up to dance music, swinging arms

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - women laughing as they warm up to the yogathon while doing some laughter yoga

Money raised through the yogathon here in Toronto (along with 45 other cities) helps to support Care for Children, a program dedicated to providing free education  to rural youth in India.

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - most people are in a lunge position except for one woman who is standing with her arms raised

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - a yoga instructor is helping another woman with her upward dog position

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, a young woman with palms of hands pressed together, fingers spread apart

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, in downward dog position

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - downward dog time

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, women in lunge position with arms down and fingers on the ground

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, woman with ganesha tattoo on her calf

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - a man stands with his hands around his ankles, knees straight.

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, two women in downward dog position

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - arms stretched to the side, standing, getting ready to practice yoga

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, young girl sitting on the ground and eating a cookie while her mother does yoga.

#riseforacause

UPDATED: Construction here has finished and the hoardings have been removed.  These murals no longer exist.

A couple of years ago, the city started a project to replace the water mains that run under Gerrard Street. As part of that project, a section of Allan Gardens was dug up to provide access to the underground mains.   The site was barricaded by wood hoardings.  These hoardings have since been covered by a large mural titled  ‘Nindinawemaaganidok / All My Relations’.  Twenty one artists contributed to the painting of the mural.

The north side of the wall:

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens seen from back a bit, tees, construction equipment and a couple of people are also in the picture

Four themes appear in this mural,  Community, Water, Anishnawbe Teachings and History of the Land.  Animals such as buffalo, deer, wolves, turtles, and beaver are common motifs.

part of First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens a deer with antlers stands by a pine tree.

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens - animals, beaver, turtle, eagle, bird,

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens - the sun shones on a person lying on the ground.

The east side of the wall:

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens, pine tree on a rock by a lake, under a full moon lit night sky

below: Sky Woman

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens, blue woman's face, she is loking at the viewer, her long hair blowing in the breeze, rocks below her

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens a leafless tree and a couple of smaller pines by a lake

part of First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens, a eagle in flight and a man.  construction equipment can be seen bei=hind

South side (along Gerrard Street):

part of First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens, a young man's breath is stylized as blue ribbons streaming from his mouth

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens - a woman surrounded by circles (bubbles?) as she sits on the ground.

West side:

First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens

part of a First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens - a row of 6 men's heads seen in profile, all looking to the right, their long hair blowing away from their faces.

part of an Anishnawbe First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens - a stylized eagle in bright colours in flight.

part of an Anishnawbe First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens - a couple walking hand in hand beside a circle divided into quarters, one is black and one is red and a head comes out of each quadrant.

part of an Anishnawbe First Nations story/legend themed mural painted on wood construction hoardings in Allan Gardens
If construction goes according to plan, the hoardings should come down by the end of May 2015.  As to whether or not this deadline will be met is anyone’s guess.

The artists: Tannis Nielsen, Phil Cote, Natasha Naveau, Rosary Spence, Gwen Lane, Angela Malley, Judy Rheume, Gary M. Johnston, Amanda Murray, Rebecca Baird, Cotee Harper, Graham Curry, Briana Stone, Lyndsey Lickers-Nyle Johnston, Isaac Weber, Honey Smith, Shelby Rain McDonald, Paula Gonzalez-Ossa, Kalmplex, Adrion Corey Charles, Ron Razor and Steven Henderson.

Link to more information (as well as a video) about this project

Quickly, before the leaves grow back and obscure the mural!

The Garrison Creek mural is on King St. West at Sudbury Ave.,
close to the railway overpass. 

A mural is painted on a retaining wall at the bottom of a small hill that separates some row houses and the street.  Many small trees are in front of the mural but it is winter time so there are no leaves on the trees.  The mural is a stylized creek that flows through hills with some animals standing beside it - fox, frog, turtle and beaver.

On the north side of King St. West

 

Part of a mural showing a fox standing beside a creek.  A bare tree is in front of the mural

Part of a mural showing a large green turtle swimming in a creek.  A tree with no leaves is in front of the mural

Part of a mural showing a large green frog sitting beside a creek.  A tree with no leaves is in front of the mural

signature, or label, on the garrison creek mural

Cecil Harbourfront Community Centre, 
a Graffiti Transformation Project,
painted in 2004

Located at the northwest corner of Regent Park Blvd and St. David St.,
(which is south of Dundas East and east of Sackville)
painted on the wood hoardings around a construction site.

 This wall was painted as part of The Patch Project
PATCH = “Public Art Through Construction Hoarding”

Unfortunately, one photo that is missing is one of the section of the wall that is a large section that says “Conquer Adversity with Diversity”, the title of this work.

Colourful graffiti on hoardings around a construction site.  Scenes of people and faces, kids on bikes, activities.  The word Welcome is written in red cursive.  Two apartment buildings are in thebackground.
Colourful graffiti on hoardings around a construction site.  The words Regent Park are written in large blue  & purple cursive writing.  An entrance to the construction site is between the two words.
Colourful graffiti on hoardings around a construction site. A woman's head and three men's faces in profile.  They are all under the same pink head covering.

Colourful graffiti on hoardings around a construction site.  A large woman in head scarf with her eyes closed, people on bikes riding on a path

Colourful graffiti on hoardings around a construction site.Young man in blue baseball cap

graffiti people.  One of whom has there hands over their mouth.

Colourful graffiti on hoardings around a construction site.  Six stylized hands in a row, on blue background.  Highrise apartment building is in the background.

Colourful graffiti on hoardings around a construction site.  Large blue boy's face with a large bird taking flight beside him

blog_rp_hoard_face

Street art of six stylized hands on a blue background.
Colourful graffiti on hoardings around a construction site.  Two men punching, one is punching while the other stands beside him with fists clenched

Street art painting of two guys on a wall around a construction site.  There are words in the picture.  The first word ends with e n c h I think.  The other words are Generation Rising Still

More information on The Patch Project

Yogathon, Dundas Square, 16 August

 

Group of people at 2014 yogathon, Dundas Square

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The first yogathon was held in Toronto a few years ago.
Today’s was the 3rd annual yogathon and it has spread to 46 cities in 12 countries.

Group of people at 2014 yogathon, Dundas Square

During one of the short breaks between sun salutations.

The goal?  108 Sun Salutations.  Variations were introduced to keep it interesting. 

Group of people at 2014 yogathon, Dundas Square

Try yoga while holding hands!

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 Money raised goes to Care for Children who work with youth in rural India.

A woman talks the group at the yogathon through their yoga postures, positions and sun salutations.

Instructors took turns leading the group through their salutations.

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blog_yoga_balance

Happiness, Hope, Peace, Trust, Love and Balance.

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Family time too....

Family time too….

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Group of people at 2014 yogathon, Dundas Square

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Group of people at 2014 yogathon, Dundas Square

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Group of people at Dundas Square doing yoga postures as part of a yogathon.  A young girl sits in a stroller with a Starbucks cup in her hand.  She is watching the yoga (but smiling at the camera)

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Two women are sitting on the ground and talking to each other.   Their backs are to the camera.  On the back of their Tshirts are the words 'no one ever drowned in their own sweat'.

No one ever drowned in their own sweat – great T-shirts!

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blog_yoga_allages
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I was curious as to the meaning of JAIGURUDEV as written in chalk in the above picture. So I looked it up and this is one explanation that I found.  It may not be the only interpretation but I liked it……

 “You know there is a Big Mind and a small mind. Sometimes the Big Mind wins over the small mind and sometimes it is the other way around.

 When the small mind wins over, it is misery and when the Big Mind wins, it is joy.

 Small mind promises joy and leaves your hand empty. Big Mind may bring resistance in the beginning but fills you with joy.

 The word Guru means great. Jaya means victory. Deva means one who is fun-loving, playful, light. One who is playful is often not dignified and when one is dignified, he is often not playful.

Jai Guru Dev is victory to the Big Mind in you that is both dignified and playful. That is what Jai Guru Dev means: “Victory to the Greatness in you.”

You do not say victory or hail to the Master as he has won over already. You say victory to your own Self, your own Mind, which is being veiled by the small mind.”

from: Guru Vaani at guruvaani.wordpress.com