I've been spending my days this summer coordinating this mural project for Art Starts (the StART mural program funded by the city, formerly the Graffiti Transformation Project), and I have to say, as far as summer jobs go, I could do worse than strolling around the city , making art, and painting outside. We started off the program with tours of the neighbourhood we are painting in (Lawrence Heights), as well as a tour of Regent Park, a similar neighbourhood of community housing residences that is halfway through a revitalization just like the one that the near future holds for Lawrence Heights. The theme of our mural will revolve around the history of Lawrence Heights, the stories, hopes and values of the people who live here, and their vision of the future in light of the revitalization of their community. Research has been a large component in the program, leading the youth through the process of interviewing residents and getting a feel for all of the voices in the neighbourhood.
We took a tour of the amazing PACT garden project at nearby John Polanyi High School
and we visited the murals from previous programs...
We took a field trip to Regent Park to see what the future might hold for Lawrence Heights.
We also hosted an open discussion group to hear stories about Lawrence Heights from community members.
Planning the mural:
The building is primed, using materials generously donated from the lovely people in the paint department of Lawrence Heights Canadian Tire.
Look at all that wall! This is a huge project!