From February – July 2015, Mural Routes ran a community mural program and project called Faces of the Community / Las Caras de la Comunidad.
The large-scale portrait stencil art program was part of TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games’ IGNITE community partnership program and was supported by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Toronto Arts Council.
The Faces of the Community / Las Caras de la Comunidad program consisted of two phases: Phase One was workshops in three locations (East End/Beaches, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, and Scarborough) across Toronto that will trained participants of all ages in the art of portrait stencil making process and in creating large-scale stencils. Faces was also taught sessions with grade 7 students for Scarborough Arts Kaleidsocope childrens programming. The programs consisted of teaching in portrait photography, stencil design, creation and printing as well as collaborative design with stencils.
Phase Two of the program will include printing the stencils during community events and onto outdoor spaces throughout the participants’ neighbourhoods. Highlights included live-painting at IGNITE event at Queen’s Park, chalk printing portraits at Lakeshore Arts show event, and Pan Am Path Art Relay events in Lakeshore and at Underpass Park for the Live Art Festival. Mural Routes encouraged those who take the program to become leaders and spread the movement of community stencil portraits to their own communities.
Faces of the Community provided a way for people to get involved and excited about the TO2015 Games by making a creative cultural contribution that is personal and meaningful. Mural Routes executive and artistic director Karin Eaton reflected on the value of the program:
“Faces of the Community IGNITEd their spirit of pride and better understanding of other cultures … At the end of the project participants took pride of ownership in the work that they created and we celebrate the legacy of their contribution.”
Thank you to all participants and partners who made this unique project a success!