I've recently signed on for a summer gig with community Arts Organization Art Starts as the Project
Co ordinator for one of their Graffiti Transformation Project's Murals.
From the Art Starts website:
Every summer we hire emerging artists between the ages of 15 and 20 to work with professional mural artists. Together they conceptualize, design and produce a mural to animate neglected walls across the city. So far we have worked to transform many walls including most recently at Steeles & L’Amoreaux in 2008, Dundas & Dupont in summer 2009, and most recently the underpass at the north entrance to the Yorkdale Subway Station in summer 2010. Keep an eye out for more Art Starts murals popping up around the city in the years to come!
I was very excited to be a part of this project for two reasons:
1) I had long since admired Art Starts murals around the city
(in particular the one in my neighbourhood at Dupont and Dundas - it's beautiful.)
and as a painter I feel very strongly about the politics of murals: taking art off of the walls of galleries, offices, and rich people's houses and making it accessible it to the public.
2) I have been dreaming of creating a mural club in the school and community that I teach in as a way of empowering the neighbourhood's youth into turning the excessive amounts of concrete that surrounds us into a means of communicating positive messages, culture, colour and beauty to their peers and families. My role as co ordinator for the Art Starts mural project is a great learning opportunity in relation to this, as it allows me to offer my organizational skills to facilitate running a large scale mural project, while simultaneously learning from the lead Artists their process in bringing youth through the conceptualization and execution of a Community-Centred Mural.
We will be painting the walls of the Lawrence Heights Community Centre.
Oh, the possibilities!