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Members 2020 Mural Roundup

A roundup of Mural Routes Members who contributed a mural produced in 2020 to the Mural Map of Canada, accompanied by the artists’ personal commentary.


Image provided by the artist

Yasaman Mehrsa
Mermaid, 2020
View on the Mural Map of Canada

This mural is part of a larger project based on the theme of water. “The Mermaid symbolizes insight, renewal, independence and individuality. Since mermaids are tied to a water element, they embody the revitalization that water brings. Water is vital to life and growth, and mermaids are ever-moving creatures living in the freedom that the sea provides.”

 

 

 


Image provided by the artist

Dominic Laporte
A Tribute to Our Health Care Workers, 2020
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“This design is meant to act as a lasting tribute to all the health care workers, and front line workers that have been propping up our community since the pandemic hit last March. The mural depicts a health care worker surrounded by foliage and wildlife, symbolizing the vibrancy of our local community. The multicoloured palette is meant to pay respect to and support the LGBTQ community in Ottawa.”

 


Image provided by the artist

Deanna Flinn
The People in Your Neighbourhood, 2020
View on the Mural Map of Canada

“The panels feature 46 portraits of people in the community I collected. Each person was asked to participate at a safe social distance or sent in an electronic drawing of their self-portrait with 1 single line, drawn with their eyes closed. It was an interactive community event held during the period of isolation and social distancing to get people outside of their comfort zones and have them try something new. Everyone reacted the same way, insisting they cannot draw and then giggles, and then they succumbed to the drawing and afterwards were really happy with the result.”


Image provided by the artist

Khaula Mazhar
Dandelion Dreams, 2020
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“This mural is my biggest mural to date (300+ sq ft) so I thought it would be nice to include it in the roundup. The title is Dandelion Dreams and it was created with Dr. Suess’s Lorax in mind. I loved the Truffula trees and I wanted the dandelions to give that same whimsical, childhood nostalgia as well as the message to conserve nature. Bees are my favourite muse for outdoor murals so I added native Ontario species busy with their job of pollinating. A lot of people use the trail and I wanted to create something for them to enjoy and think about on their walk, especially during this time during lockdowns.”


Photo by Stephen Attong

Caylen Monroe
Flow, 2020
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 “After creating community connections moving to Kensington Market, the Film Cafe and I decided to work together to create a mural on their patio wall. We brainstormed and sorted through sketches and colour schemes together, and brought a little excitement to the corner of Augusta and Nassau.”

 


Image provided by the artist

Bareket Kezwer
You Are Essential, 2020
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Created as part of StreetARToronto’s Front Line Heroes project, “this mural celebrates our interconnection and honours the critical role that every single person is playing during the pandemic and moment of global reimagining. I offer this message of gratitude as part of a practice that helps me stay connected to the richness of life, the goodness in people, and the generosity and abundance of mother nature. It can feel challenging to stay connected to the positives when there is so much injustice, inequity, environmental devastation and pain. Practicing gratitude as often as possible is one thing that helps give me the strength to show up and keeps me grounded and hopeful that collective actions will lead to a better future.”

 

 

 

 

 


Image provided by the artist

Pete Ellison
Fresh Laundry, 2020
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“This is a mural I recently completed inside Dundas Coin Laundry in the Toronto Junction neighbourhood. I was inspired when my partner and I were walking through the neighbourhood and this big sidewalk-facing wall caught my eye. The wall had a crudely done painting of t-shirts against a blue background that was so painful to look at that it made me angry. I approached the management about painting something and they commissioned this piece. They also took the opportunity to repaint the other interior walls, and now it looks cheery and super fun. A laundromat is one of those places where you’re stuck for a couple of hours, so you might as well have something cool to look at!”


Image provided by the artist

Alixandra Jade
Manchester Square West Mural Floral Wall, 2020
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“The client requested that the mural bring beauty and positivity to the community while complementing the aesthetic of the building. The rest was left to my creative freedom. The mural is painted in a trick-of-the-eye abstract style where from up close it appears to be just blocks of colour but from afar the illusion of flowers overgrown on the wall is created.”


Image provided by the artist

Jieun June Kim
Peach Tiger, 2020
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“A lot of my illustrations, paintings are inspired by Korean folk arts. One of my favourite Korean symbols or folklore character is Horangi, the tiger. Tigers are revered as guardians and divine spirits and symbolize courage and power in Korean folklore and myth. Also, peaches are considered divine fruits, consumed by the King of Heaven and other immortals to keep them ageless.”


Image provided by the artist

Andrea Rodriguez
The Macaws, 2020
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“Last year, when I read the story about an angry letter towards an artist and a mural on Instagram, it touched me. In 2018, I had a very similar experience where someone verbally assaulted me and my art. It was heartbreaking to be painting something with so much love, and have the neighbour of that house come and tell me horrible things. I was thankful I had a strong community around me, who stood up for me and helped me. In the same way, I wanted to stand up for Natalie, her art and the initiative for Neighbourhood love. I decided to donate my skills, designing and helping in every way I could. Coming from a background of multicultural experiences, I strongly believe in acceptance and collaboration. We are stronger together. The macaws symbolize unity while also bringing awareness to the dangers of deforestation in the Amazonian Rainforest.”


Artist – Jacquie Comrie, photographed by Sharon Mendonca

STEPS Public Art
Renaissance of Mother Gaia, 2020
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“In 2020, ELAD Canada approached STEPS Public Art to develop a series of public art installations on and around the future Galleria on the Park master-planned community. The first of these collaborations was a mural produced by Toronto- based multidisciplinary artist, Jacquie Comrie, supported by local artists Bareket Kezwer and Monica Wickeler. This project was completed in collaboration with NEXT Plumbing & Hydronics Supply, who enthusiastically offered their west exterior wall as the canvas for this public artwork. This mural was inspired by the power of resilience through a year of deep challenges. Through experiences of loss, grief, and uncertainty of the future, we also find ourselves in the wake of a new light and social consciousness. Jacquie hopes this mural will serve as visual therapy to encourage wellness and mental wellbeing.”


Image Credit: Photo by May Shi

Pam Lostracco
Reflections, 2020
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“Reflections was printed on aluminum panels and installed in January 2020. Greenland Group (the developer) was thrilled with the design and asked to discuss how we could transform it into a smaller piece of art to hang in their office. We met to discuss the size and process the week before the first lockdown. Little did we know at the time how Covid-19 was going to impact workspaces for the rest of the year. As with many other projects (for myself and other artists), this piece was put on hold.“


Image provided by the artist

Julia Prajza
Tower of Glass, 2020
View on the Mural Map of Canada

“It was a strange and wonderful time to paint outside during the pandemic. People were more respectful of my space, creating fewer distractions. The curiosity of this utility box being transformed before people’s eyes was definitely an excitement for the community – something to look forward to. A few people took the time to tell me how grateful they were that I was adding some joy and colour to their everyday lives. Those kind words made my long hours in the sun totally worth it.”

 


Artist and Photo by Tyler Toews

Vancouver Mural Festival
Capitalist Daydreams, 2020
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“The figure in a business suit is now dealing with a hangover from a capitalist/consumer bender. The “Capitalist Daydreams” is one of seven paintings in a series titled “Waste Wear.” The series addresses issues surrounding pollution and climate change. Presented by the Vancouver Mural Festival and the Gastown BIA.”

 


Image provided by the artist

Amber Ozols
Red Brick Revamp, 2020
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“Covid-compliant takeout window with a new, fresh, floral look!

The Red Brick Café is a Guelph hotspot for fresh coffee, baked goods, and often hosts local artists. With their doors shut for the pandemic, they’ve pivoted to feature artists on the exterior.”

 

 

 


Image provided by the artist

Desire Betty
Water Spirit In Contemplation, 2020
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“A project organized by Wallnoize – a city-funded mural jam run in partnership with StreetARToronto and the surrounding Coxwell community.

WIth the theme of water in mind, my concept sketch for this mural was the last sketch of mine that my Father ever saw, so I had to bring it to life. Rest in Peace my beautiful Daddy – Love you forever and always.”

 

 


Image provided by the artist

Karen Roberts
Going Home, 2020
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“Going Home is a bright colourful mural depicting Canada Geese flying across a stylized sunset, past the tall trees, rocky outcrops and hills of northern Ontario. This commission is on private property that was prone to tagging and graffiti. Medium – spray paint.”

 

 

 

 

 

 


Artists (left to right according to the sections of the mural): Rob Saley, Ruth Hurdle, Blaze Wiradharma, Lily Findlay and Sam Nellicks.

Town of Collingwood
We’re in this Together, 2020
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“Last Spring the Town of Collingwood issued a call for artists to participate in a temporary mural installation with the goal of uplifting the community and helping to inspire happiness and hope in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result five local artists covered the 100 foot long wall in downtown Collingwood, using their own style and technique and garnering much appreciation from the community by way of honks and cheers.”

 


Image provided by the artist

Amy Shackleton
Break the Ice (Toronto + Iqaluit), 2020
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“I was invited by the Robert McLaughlin Gallery to create a mural commission at the Oshawa Centre Mall. I was so excited to interact with the public while painting my first drip mural on a huge wall! Two days into the project, COVID hit. The RMG had to close and all projects were put on hold. Three months later, I was invited back to complete the mural before the mall opened to the public. I’m so happy with the result! I have plans to begin my next mural project this March, if COVID restrictions ease.”


Image provided by the artist

Lacey and Layla Art (LALA)
LEIF: 1993-2019, 2020
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“This project was undertaken as a memorial to honour and celebrate the life of Leif. The funding of the production materials and equipment was fundraised with the help of Leif’s family and the artists donated the entirety of the production of the mural.”

 


Image provided by the artist

Philip Cote
Thirteen Moon Calendar of the Anishinaabe, 2020
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“This work depicts the thirteen moon calendar at Little Canada, a miniatures museum with locations across this great country as well as ancient stories from Indigenous oral histories along with replicas of traditional villages.

The Thirteen Moons is a measure of natural time and marks times of Ceremony and harvest.

1 Spirit moon, 2 Bear moon, 3 Sugar moon, 4 Sucker moon, 5 Flower moon, 6 Strawberry moon, 7 Raspberry moon, 8 Thimbleberry moon, 9 Corn moon, 10 Falling Leaves moon, 11Freezing moon, 12 Little Spirit moon, 13 Big Spirit moon

There is also a Petro Form here that represents the Medicine Wheel and connections to the Star Knowledge.”


Image provided by the artist

Meaghan Claire Kehoe
Brain in Bloom, 2020
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Brain in Bloom” is a large-scale mural done on the side of the St.Thomas Public Library for the “Track to the Future” project. This piece illustrates the creative possibilities of collaboration within the community. The teapot and teacup are a metaphor for meeting of the minds (whether in person or over digital platforms), while the botanicals blooming out are the seeds of ideas blossoming with potential. This mural is truly for the community- one that is growing and expanding with every push from its members to see more inclusivity, diversity, and creativity.”


Image provided by the artist

Julii McMillan
Joy of Being, 2020
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“Created June 2020, Joy of Being for Rose’s garage. Inspired by activist/writer Alice Walker’s words from ‘“Anything we love can be saved, a writer’s activism’’:

“And what is the result of decolonizing the spirit? It is as if one truly does possess a third eye, and this third eye opens. One begins to see the world from one’s own point of view; to interact with it out of one’s own conscience and heart. One’s own ‘pagan’ Earth spirit. We begin to flow, again, with and into the Universe. And out of this flowing comes the natural activism of wanting to survive, to be happy, to enjoy one another and life, and to laugh…”
(This description continues on the Mural Map of Canada, please visit the link to read the rest of the content.)


Artists: Elicser, Nick Sweetman, Sight, and Spy1 Image provided by Nick Sweetman

Nick Sweetman
1955-2020: Enemy of Justice, 2020
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“In 1955 in Mississippi a 14 year old black boy named Emmett Till was murdered by two white men who were acquitted on September 23, after law enforcement tampering. The men later bragged publicly about his murder. Emmett’s mother Mamie Till wanted the world to see what happened to her son and the horrified outrage following that decision helped spark the civil rights movement.  On September 23, 2020, the police officers who broke into Breonna Taylor’s Louisville apartment and killed her in her sleep were acquitted. These two events, 55 years apart and yet so similar, are examples of what James Baldiwn is talking about when he said Ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have. Breonna Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer, pictured in the center to left of Mamie Till, has been on the front lines of the protests that exploded in the wake of the police murders of Breonna Taylor and others in the summer of 2020.”


Image provided by the artist

Monica Wickeler
Neighbourhood Love, 2020
View on the Mural Map of Canada

“Typical to my artistic style, this mural makes use of dynamic imagery, vibrant colours and movement. The background is an aerial map of the Danforth, allowing viewers to recognize their local neighbourhood, and the spots of their favourite patio where friends gather, the street they live on, their favourite local shop, and so on. In the foreground are dynamic, larger than life scaled paintings, which represent local pedestrians in the area, shopping, cycling, walking or playing. There are also some chalk drawing artworks, meant to represent positivity and courage during the pandemic.

The combination of these images reflects both the geographic nature of the diverse Danforth community with the human nature of the neighboUrhood. This mural captures the essence of neighbours re-entering public spaces, meeting outdoors again on patios, and supporting their local, hardworking businesses with Main Street activation. In my mural I hope you see stories of gratitude, resilience, hope and the capacity to care for one another.”


Artists: Matthew Borland and Melissa Francis, Photo by Trudy Stuckless

Botwood Mural Arts Society
Thank You All Essential Workers and Businesses, 2020
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“Completed August 2020, this mural was painted by local artists Matthew Borland (Bishops Falls) and Melissa Francis (Gander) for the Botwood Mural Arts Society with the support of the Town of Botwood. The mural expresses the community’s extreme gratitude to all the essential workers and businesses that continued to work and operate to ensure that the residents of Botwood and surrounding area had access to essential food and supplies, personal services, health services and emergency services during the Covid -19 Pandemic. These essential workers and businesses risked their own lives and livelihoods to ensure the safety and security of others. They are our “angels” deserving of their “halos”. This large mural was completed outside, which allowed for the required physical distancing. It brought some bright, uplifting color and joy to our community during an otherwise dark and anxious period of time.”

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