Summer 2015 Youth Team Update #1

My name is Jade. I am one the 4 students working with Mural Routes this summer. I will be blogging for them, and filling everyone in on what is going on in the world of art at Mural Routes.

Mural Routes has recruited students through the TDSB (Toronto District School Board) Focus on Youth and Tropicana Jobs for youth, to work, and gain school credits in co-op with TDSB this summer. With different placements, students will learn and gain work skills, leadership skills, have fun and of course make money. These experiences also allow students to branch out, get to know and get involved with different organizations in the GTA while staying connected.

The Mural Routes & Scarborough arts office building
The colourful office space we work in downstairs


The first time I came to Mural Routes office, I passed it not knowing that it was a colourful non-traditional house/office/art gallery. After 15 minutes of walking and searching, I finally found the house, which has a painting of a huge monarch butterfly on the front door. It is a welcoming space with lots of friendly people, clean, and well managed. The top of the house belongs to Scarborough Arts, which the space is used as an art gallery where art shows are hosted, and other employees work. The basement is down colourful stairs, which has a garage and another space with colourful walls that brighten up your vibes on a gloomy gray day – or on Mondays.

The Mural Routes “studio” garage we helped organize and will work in this summer
Working on panels

For the past two weeks, we have worked with Tara our supervisor and Rob by providing help by priming, painting, and cutting out panels, sanding, mixing colours, gridding for our most recent Birch Tree mural project, which will be located in the Birch Cliff community at 1647 Kingston Rd.

Myself working on painting the mural panels
Artist Mediah teaching techniques with us

Upon working with Mural Routes, we have assisted a well-known Toronto based graffiti artist, Evond Blake, also known as “Mediah”. Mediah is an international visual artist who uses street art, motion design, and animation to create quality art such as murals, graffiti with his own artistic twist to it. We have participated in a training workshops in which he informed us of the hazards that can occur while dealing with toxic paints, different caps to use for spray paint cans, practise with priming walls, and knowledge of respirator, which is a safety mask that protects him from the toxic smell and inhalation when working with toxic spray paints. Working with him was a fun learning experience. Mediah is a hard worker, who is very passionate about his job. Although it was intense, it was still a fun learning experience. It takes a lot of hard work to paint a wall 5x my height or more.  Some other things I have acquired while doing this are, how to manage your time in a tight schedule, how to work with new people, as well as problem solving when things don’t go as planned such as the weather, broken equipment, and other success barriers.

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