Meet Me at the Red Canoe by Marg Cresswell

Proposed mural design by Marg Cresswell

Artist Statement
As an artist, I have always been fascinated by the natural beauty of the Canadian landscape and trying to capture its splendor through painting. By combining my love of the landscape and the tradition of trompe l’oeil, I have found a way to communicate on several different levels through my murals. The illusion of trompe l’oeil offers the chance of discovery, to perceive all the details of flora and fauna inside and escaping the ripping wall. I aim not to deceive, but to reveal the illusion, and that the ultimate impression is of the natural beauties of the Canadian landscape. This meeting place, between the real thing and the painted thing, brings the viewer to the edge of illusionism, only to assert that the reality is the paint. The red canoe in the mural appears to be floating out of the mural, and although the deception appears only momentarily, it is an instant of being deceived. But once the illusion has dissolved what remains must be a natural beauty all on its own and draw in the viewer to spend time exploring all the details and visual delights it has to offer.

Meet Me at the Red Canoe brings nature’s beauty and splendor to the Midtown Yonge BIA community, along with a physical meeting place. A destination in the community and part of their daily journey. My trompe l’oeil mural speaks to the history of how art reveals a different world. I hope the community enjoys seeing and discovering the world that I see!

Artist Bio
Marg Cresswell is an award-winning muralist who spent her final year of study in Florence, Italy and graduated from the Ontario College of Art, in 1994. Over 20 years ago she began working as a muralist and, after requests for commissions, she opened her own studio, Murals By Marg, in 2001. In 2007, Marg was invited to exhibit her large-scale paintings at the Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contempranea in Florence, Italy. Since 2015, she has painted over three dozen public art murals in the City of Toronto. In 2017, she was awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the House of Commons for her mural in Richmond Hill as part of Canada’s 150th Anniversary. 2018 brought Marg’s art to be included in an international publication on street art, “Urban Scrawl” (Australia). In 2019, Marg participated as a wildcard for the first season of Landscape Artist of the Year, Canada, which aired on the CBC in the fall of 2020. Marg was awarded the Denis Diderot Artist in Residence Grant in 2020. She attended the residency for the month of November in 2021, at the Chateau D’Orquevaux, located in the Champagne region of France. Marg continues to exhibit her paintings and has works in private and public collections in Canada, the USA and France.

About Midtown Yonge BIA
The Midtown Yonge Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a membership of local business people and property owners who work in partnership with the City of Toronto to enhance their business district. The BIA’s boundaries are along Yonge Street from Merton Street in the south to Soudan Avenue in the north. More info at: and on Instagram @midtownyongebia

This project was made possible thanks to funding from: the City of Toronto Outdoor Mural & Street Art Program, and the Midtown Yonge BIA. Thanks also for project support from Mural Routes and wall space from Glen Corporation.


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