Davenport Diamond Design Visuals and Public Open House Meeting
Metrolinx recently unveiled the winning art concept for the Davenport Diamond Guideway. Created by Canadian Artist Alex MacLeod, the mural when complete will be the largest digitally printed image in the world. You can find more more images and information about the artist and design by visiting: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/projectsandprograms/integratedart/artwork/secret-park-gate.aspx.
Metrolinx is also holding a public meeting to share more details about the the new artwork and Davenport Diamond Project on Tuesday March 27, 2018 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Casa da Madeira Community Centre (1621 Dupont St).
This new public art is the result of the incredible work done together with residents, organizations and stakeholders and I look forward to continuing this work to ensure our community's vision for a strong public realm and community space is realized!
The first mural of our community's Create Your Path public art project is now complete! Created by renowned artists Bacon and Que Rockford's the artwork is inspired by Indigenous culture and Street Art language. I encourage you to check it out along the north side of the underpass near Dupont and Dundas.
The Create Your Path initiative is about transforming the West Toronto Railpath through new public art and the next set of murals will be painted in 2018 at the Wallace Station Lofts and the Canadian Red Cross Building, where crews have already primed the wall in anticipation!
We will be hosting more meetings in 2018 to discuss the next set of murals. I want to thank everyone who has been involved and shared their feedback on this project. I look forward to sharing more updates with you!
‘Dot_JPG’ chosen from handful of submissions to be displayed in three places along the West Toronto Rail Path
Originally from the Ottawa Valley, Mitchell Chan first moved to Toronto in 2006 with hopes of making it in the city as an artist.
“I had this notion I was going to pursue art as a career, and I really had no idea what I was doing,” he said.
He spent his first couple of months in the city on the second floor of the Gladstone Hotel on Queen Street West. Fast forward six years, and Chan will have his artwork displayed across the street from where he began his art career, thanks to an open call for public art pitches from Metrolinx and the City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto program.
Chan’s concept, a series of mosaic murals titled Dot_JPG, was a collaborative effort with his partners at Studio F Minus, a public art and design firm, Bradley Hindson and Michael Simon. Dot_JPG was chosen from a handful of submissions to be displayed in three places along the West Toronto Rail Path, around the Douro bend and Queen Street West noise wall.
“To be able to go from some anonymous wide-eyed artist to being able to leave my mark here is really exciting,” Chan said.
The art will be a series of tile mosaic murals that will mirror the landscape directly behind it.
The tiles, made of glass, will transform the Liberty Village and Queen Street West neighbourhood into “brightly coloured, pixelated patterns” that will give an effect of a glitch in technology, he said.
“We’re creating awareness of the digital filter of our perception, but we’re documenting it in a way that we view the world right now and that’s important because that’s going to change,” Chan explained.
“It will exist as a digital record of 2014; as the neighbourhood changes this will no longer line up with the background and that becomes another kind of glitch.”
The mosaics will work as a kind of optical illusion that will shift and change as people get closer or farther away from the mural.
“It’s kind of a tactile interactive thing that people can figure out on their own by interacting normally with it. You don’t push buttons, you don’t tweet at it, you just walk,” Chan said.
The concept was inspired by how society’s connection and near dependence on technology has framed our perception of the world around us. According to Chan, we’re constantly viewing it with a technological filter, which can be a phone or tablet. He added he’s not here to comment on whether it’s a positive or a negative for society.
“What we (Studio F Minus) want to do is always make sure we’re aware of it (the technological filter) and draw attention to it,” he said.
The art submission was well received by the jury, who on the Go Transit website said the concept “pushes the definition and expectation of street art in Toronto, mixing contemporary and traditional techniques and materials to create three vibrant murals that are as instantly pleasing as they are rich with deeper artistic meaning…The jury feels these visually arresting wall treatments will be thoughtprovoking and pleasing for years to come, reflecting the complexity and creativity of the community.”
The concept was first brought to the community in November during a consultation night. According to Chan, the community liked it enough and they made some changes from their comments, but wasn’t offended, he couldn’t think of a better crowd to show the art to.
“If there’s any neighbourhood where you’re going to pitch a conceptual public art piece this is it,” the former Parkdale resident said.
“You have a very sophisticated audience here, an audience that’s been living with art for a long time.”
He said the submission is a bit conceptual and doesn’t fall in line with the majority of public art splashed around the city that serves as “eye candy” he said. Chan said he hopes the approval of his art project will encourage more conceptual art to be showcased through the city’s StreetARToronto program.
“It’s a real struggle to inject discourse, concept and dialogue into public art projects,” he said.
“So to start making headway on that it’s really exciting.”
The mural’s construction will begin in spring.
Residents view designs, hear about concepts at gathering hosted by StreetARToronto and Metrolinx
A few local residents who braved Monday’s wind storm got a sneak peek of potential artwork for an outdoor mural project along the West Toronto Railpath.
StreetARToronto ((StART) in conjunction with Metrolinx held a community consultation meeting, Monday, Nov. 24, so residents could view preliminary artwork by the short-listed artists. The art installation would be on the south side of the railpath’s Bloor West entrance and on a popular piece of land at the foot of Ritchie Avenue.
Artists presented their initial concepts for comment and feedback and will take the information into consideration as they work towards a final submission.
“These are two areas near and dear to my heart,” said Metrolinx spokesperson Kelly Thornton. “This is the celebratory phase for us. Your thoughtful comments will be taken into account as the artists finalize their designs.”
The mural project will help combat graffiti vandalism, said Carolyn Taylor of StART while helping to “bring out the character of neighbourhoods.”
Each artist was given 10 minutes to present their ideas during the community consultation held at the Crossways Employment and Social Services on Dundas and Bloor Streets West.
“It’s an honour for me to present my work,” said artist Paul Aloisi, who says he takes a site specific approach to his work while taking into account the context and conditions of a place. “Each of my projects are pretty different from one another.”
With 20 years experience painting murals, Aloisi said he uses diverse mediums to create public art. Research is key to each of his projects. He says he has reached out to the Friends of Ritchie Avenue Parkette, a group that is “really involved in engaging the community.”
Aloisi said his mural would be dependent on input from the community. He’d use recycled materials. His talent is finding beauty in the mundane, he said.
Veteran graffiti artist Elicser Elliott has been painting for the past two decades.
“I work with the community every time I paint,” he told his small, but attentive audience.
Since he spends so much time painting within a particular neighbourhood, he says he can’t help, but incorporate real life characters into his paintings.
“I like to delve into the history of what happened there,” he said of each site.
Matt McNaught or KWEST as he is known, got his start painting freight trains.
“This space along the rail corridor was unoccupied. That was our place to express ourselves as kids,” he recalled.
McNaught, who lives and works in the area, said this project is his chance to give back to the community. His approach, he said, was to think ‘What do my kids want to see?’
Colour and animals. He is proposing a mural of colourful abstract.
Oliver Pauk is proposing a mosaic of coloured and mirrored Plexiglas that will provide a different experience in both daylight and after dark. It will rely on LED technology and solar power.
“We’re excited about the opportunity,” said Pauk, who lives in the neighbourhood.
Residents were curious about the longevity of the solar power and asked about the durability of the Plexiglas. Batteries for the solar power would likely have to be changed at some point, Pauk said. The Plexiglas durable, yet if one piece was damaged, it could be removed and replaced, he said.
This article originally posted online at insidetoronto.com as part of Bloor West Villager publication