North York Mirror
A public art project aimed at bringing together generations will get underway at Flemingdon Park library Feb. 23.
Step x Step: Introduction to Mural Arts, a program run by Mural Routes, will offer nine free workshops on Saturdays until April 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 29 St. Dennis Dr.
Using the nearby CN Rail “rainbow” tunnel near Don Valley Parkway and Lawrence Avenue in Milne Hollow Park as an example, participants will be encouraged to design for and eventually volunteer to help design a mural for the tunnel’s inside come spring.
“The program is basic entry level, no skills needed in mural or public art making,” said Tara Dorey, program co-ordinator. “It’s an introductory into what mural and street art is and why we do it.”
Minimum age requirement is 14 and there isn’t a cut-off age, so Dorey hopes the project will bring together different generations.
The program has 20 spots available and only a handful left, so she advises those interested to register quickly.
The not-for-profit arts service organization, which focuses on the creation, development and promotion of public wall art, re-furbished the tunnel’s rainbow mural last fall.
“The inner tunnel design has not been decided yet,” Dorey said. “We are hoping (project participants) will come up with some ideas.”
While participation in helping to create the tunnel’s design is not mandatory, those signed up in Step x Step: Introduction to Mural Arts will learn basic drawing skills, with a focus on making stencils, using a canvass to create designs, she said.
The tunnel’s rainbow design has a colourful history.
The rainbow was first painted about 40 years ago by Norwegian mural artist B.C. (Berg) Johnson. After injuring himself while working on the mural, rendering him unable to finish it, students from Don Mills Middle School took over and completed it.
It was eventually painted over by the city, until Johnston re-painted it in 1994. Though he was arrested and slapped with a no-trespassing order, police allowed him to finish it before his arrest.
Restoration of the project was needed after years of deterioration, and that’s where Mural Routes stepped in last fall.
To register for Step x Step: Introduction to Mural Arts or for information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-698-7995.